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Chapter 50: New Year, New Challenge

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I had a customer come in the other day and was extremely rude to their “friend” on the phone.  I looked at my co-worker and said, “In the States we would say, ‘with friends like that, who needs enemies!'” I was stopped in my tracks immediately after this with the realization that God loves them as much as me.  God loves people who are horrible human beings, as much as He loves me (maybe slight judgment, my apologies!).  After this realization, I knew in my heart that God was asking me why didn’t I love them too.  Ouch!  I am sure some of you can relate to this feeling with all the political turmoil in the United States.  People on both sides of the political lines fighting with hate and not love.  For those of you, like me, who need to be reminded of what it means to Love, I have provided above a beautiful scripture for reference.

Family:

We are almost through the birthday run!  Michelle and Loralie had awesome birthdays full of fun, family, food, and friends. Loralie is now seven years old and is as determined and strong willed as ever.  She has grown up so much and we are so proud of who she is becoming.  Her birthday also coincides with Sweet Life’s birthday, which just turned O N E.  Last year we had to focus on the launching of our coffee shop and bakery so her birthday was majorly lacking.  We decided to give this day to her, devoting all our attention to her to remind her of the Love we have for her (mission accomplished!).

It is hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, February 11th, we will celebrate Dottie’s FIRST birthday!  WOW!  Has it already been one year since we were preparing for the hospital to welcome our third child into this world?  What a year it has been! The joy she has brought us, the mild temperament she has, and the joy and peace she brings is unbelievable.  Jack and Loralie absolutely adore her and are awesome big brother and sister to her.

Michelle and I had a simple celebration of our tenth Anniversary, the day of.  We have almost finalized our plans for April to go to England and Scotland for six days for a more extended and elaborate celebration.  Our friends here have all agreed to help watch the kiddos during this time so we can travel child-free to be able to more fully focused on each other.  Vacation with children is much different than without!  Thanks to all who made this possible!

Schooling:

We have decided to not continue with Loralie and Jack’s current school.  The cost is increasing by 10%, the school is splitting its campus (Jack stays at the current and Loralie would move over 1.7 km away), and the transportation is highly unfavorable (even moving wouldn’t help).  We believe the correct course of action is Homeschooling or seeking other English friendly education (we have to be able to communicate with a teacher or principal).  We are leaning very strongly towards Homeschooling, but are open to God’s leading.

Changing this would also free up Jack and Loralie to engage in more extra-curricular activities.  We are looking into some possible football (or any sport) clubs, cooking classes, skiing and other activities that we previously and are currently unable to to participate in.  Loralie really needs some avenue to release the energy that builds up from a long day at school. Waiting for a bus (2-30 minutes) to take us on a 30-45 minute journey home just doesn’t cut it!

Prayer

-Pray for Sweet Life: God’s will, presence and movement would be clear and evident and that we would follow it.

-Pray for our kids with regards to schooling (Current and Future), friends, and development.

-Pray for health as we brave 2017. We are continuing to make changes in our lifestyles in order to make our lives more focused on health both spiritually/soul deep and physically. We are God’s temple!

-The Women’s prayer group Michelle is involved in. Building women up, speaking prophetic encouragement and loving those involved through relationship with our Father God.

-For Brad as he is balancing work, home life, and ministry.  He would identify with his current role, continue to work on better managing time,  father and husband.

-The landlords and building administration are coming to look at the apartment.  There are some damages to the flat that have recently happened and they hope to discover the cause.  With the unknown cause of the damages, we don’t know if major or minor renovations will take place.  Please keep all those involved in your prayers!  Depending on the renovations needed, it could displace us temporarily (daytime only would be best case scenario).

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By the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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