“I am the LORD, I change not.” Malachi 3:6

"I think I'll be swimming before I walk!"

“I think I’ll be swimming before I walk!”

Just thinking about change this month, as we come to the close of our 4+ years in China.  As a couple, we have moved about 15 times in 19 years of marriage, and that doesn’t count going back and forth between the U.S. and China these past few years!  Whew!  It has been a whirlwind, with so many trials/challenges along the way, but there is joy, too!   We are stronger because of the hardships, and have been drawn closer as a family.  At times it feels a bit crazy, but we work together as a team, knowing God has a plan for each season, and our faith grows as we trust Him more.  I never would have chosen China, but I wouldn’t trade it either, for how it’s shaped and “grown” us.  We are richer, too, for having Isaac in our family, and know God has wonderful things planned for him (Jeremiah 29:11).

We’ve been so blessed by all the people we’ve met here (our maid, neighbors, brothers and sisters from the international church), and all the lessons to be learned from them, too.  The other Sunday we had a South African family over who had lost a daughter with Trisomy 18, and I was encouraged hearing their story.  She reminded me to take one day at a time, and I know the Lord knew I needed to hear that.  Usually I am one who does not “worry about tomorrow,” but with Isaac I can tend to think way into the future, spending more time than necessary on research especially.

I’m so grateful that amisdt all the travel, moving, packing, selling furniture, organizing and grading schoolwork, cleaning, schedule changes (we get a lot of that with a pilot in the family!), GOD is the Lord, who changes not!  He is always there, speaking to me gently, guiding me with my children and in my marriage, a faithful Father who never leaves, fails, forgets, etc., etc.!  After my 16-hour days I plop into bed with a smile in my heart (even if my face is too tired to smile!), looking forward to the time spent with Him before I slip into a peaceful sleep.  I wouldn’t change it, for it’s the plan God has for me!

Family/Isaac update:  Isaac is doing well, and finally on the regular charts for height and weight!  He is still not creeping, and we are not able to get the natural thyroid shipped here to China, so we will have to wait until next month to give him that.  There is so much I want to do for him, but I must keep balanced, think of everyone else, and trust that I will be able to do the things the Lord wills for me to do.  He can take care of the rest!

Potty training is going well, although backbreaking work with a non-walker!  I started 5 months ago, and at almost 21 months Isaac is nearly totally trained in the day, and dry every morning!   His cues that he has to go are non-verbal and very subtle, so it’s harder if no one is spending one-on-one time with him.  I had read children with T21 may not be trained until 5, but read elsewhere to start early b/c of that.  I had tried infant potty training half-heartedly with a couple of the children, but with Isaac I’ve been very consistent and it’s paid off!  We have lots of unused diapers to give away – yeah!

In bigger news, 3 of our oldest qualified for the national competition for Bible Bee, so we are excited to travel to Orlando in Oct. for that, and to see family there also!  It is a fun, family-oriented time for all ages, and this will be our third year attending.  The children and youth work so hard memorizing God’s word, studying a book of the Bible, and keeping the focus on their relationship with Jesus, not on knowledge or winning.

The biggest news is that we just bought an airplane for our new family business, opening in June 2015, Lord willing!  Jay plans to pick it up in Germany, and fly it over “the pond” before we leave for Orlando – another adventure!  And a big step for him to make the move out of the stable/predictible (well, as much as it can be in China!) airline world, and start his own venture.  Of course, God really owns our business (“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” Psalm 24:1), so He can prosper it as He wills.  We are very excited to be able to work together more as a family, and have “Papa” home more, too.  Not too much, of course, or we wouldn’t be making money! :o)

Well, I’d better get back to cleaning and packing.  Jay took 8 children with him running errands (it’s his birthday today, so now he’s halfway to 90 like me!), and Isaac is sleeping, so now’s my chance!

Faith is the victory (I John 5:4),