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Chapter 59: One year later

Some of you may have noticed.  It’s been awhile.

June 26th we arrived at the Krakow Airport with a grand adventure ahead of us.  We didn’t anticipate just how adventurous it was going to be.  We knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God was leading us towards something.  At the time we were confident it was a call to Vancouver BC with weigh stations in OKC, Colorado, and Portland.  When we prayed about our future, we knew God was promising a vehicle, a job, and a house.  We had no idea exactly how He was going to do this.

As you have read before, God provided a Van, debt free.

Again, God provided a job.  When we realized that Vancouver was either a not yet or a means to get us to Portland, God opened the door for me to work with a coffee friend in Portland.  I now have a job that allows me to work in coffee, in one of the healthiest work environments I have ever had the privilege of being apart of.  I did everything I could to get my foot in the door in Canada.  I even traveled up to Vancouver and interviewed at various coffee roasters and shops for any potential job listing.  Little did i know just how hard it was for an American to get a job in Canada…or the cost of living for Vancouver!

And now, God is providing a house!

When we first moved to Portland we enrolled the kids into school near our temporary apartment in Beaverton on the West side of town.  At the time I was traveling downtown to help with coffee, so it worked perfectly.  After Charlie’s birth, my coffee job moved out to Gresham on the far East Side of Portland.  This has my daily commute at 1.5 hours a day, round trip!  A few months back we really felt God leading us to move out to the  Gresham area.  The major problem? We don’t qualify for a house big enough for our family of 6!  Our lender and realtor dropped this news with the understanding that we only qualifying for roughly a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house.  When we found this out, we did the best we could…we surrendered it to God, we waited patiently, we trusted.

Two weeks later we received a phone call from friends and prayer partners that God told them to buy us a house.  Two weeks after that, an offer was placed and accepted on a house.  This house is big enough for our family, with room for us to grow into!  If all goes according to plan with inspection, appraisal, and financial acceptance we will close on the house June 26th.

Life is a crazy adventure.  In one year God completely transformed our lives.  Leaving Poland with 13 bags, no job, no vehicle, no home…only hope.  One year later we find ourselves in Portland with a moving truck, a job, a van, a home…filled with joy!

God never promised that the journey would be easy, and it wasn’t.  Instead, we trusted in His provision, timing, and protection.

Please join us in prayer as we:

~search for a new church home and community to be apart of.

~wait for the inspection, appraisal, and final closing of the house to be completed

~search for our place in the Rockwood/Gresham community.

~adjust to a more permanent home and another move, new School, new neighbors, new friends.  It has been a long journey!

~seek out purchases for moving into a home and putting the final “home” touches on this house (appliances, yard equipment, trampoline, etc)

Today.

Today is the day!  We have an appointment at the Hospital at 4pm PST for Michelle to be induced.  We will likely only update after delivery, and after Michelle has had some rest.  Keep our family in your prayers as we go through one more transition this year…i think number 2040239840?  Or something like that.  After we get more settled we will have a registry set up for those last extra items.

 

Much love from the Graves family!

Chapter 58: A solid perspective

For he is the living God,

and he will endure forever.

His kingdom will never be destroyed,

and his rule will never end.

He rescues and saves his people;

he performs miraculous signs and wonders

in the heavens and on earth.

He has rescued Daniel

from the power of the lions.”

 

Daniel 6:26-27 NLT

These last 6 years have been one crazy adventure after another, getting wilder by the minute.  It seems like only yesterday that we were welcoming Jack into the world, unsuspecting of twists and turns ahead of us.  We have had many highs, and many lows.  The mountains and valleys on our family’s journey have given us a very different perspective on life and what we hold value in.  I wouldn’t take any of these experiences back, the lessons have been invaluable.

Though we have yet to reach our final destination, which we still believe to be Vancouver BC, we are confident that God has us right where He wants us (Portland, OR).  Whether we are here for 6 or 60 months, we will continue to pursue His will.  So I’ll try to paint that picture of what we are currently working on and what we believe we will be doing in the days to come.

Brad will be working with a friend in Portland who roasts coffee.  This will turn into a more full time job, providing a solid foundation that we are not12 used to working off of!  More specifics will be provided after paperwork is signed.  Until then, I will continue to connect with the coffee community here in Portland.  These guys and gals are fun to be around and passionate for coffee.  It reminds me of the Polish coffee community I so dearly miss.  I look forward to connecting my passions of coffee and community in the months to come!  As always, I am excited to work around my trade and dive deeper into coffee.

Michelle will be more focused on the kids, as Baby Graves #4 is due sometime between November 24th to December 1st…which means any day now we will expanding to a family of 6!  Jack is continuing to excel with Homeschooling, Loralie is meshing well with her 2nd grade class (and has tested for TAG/Talented And Gifted) at her school! Dottie is a busy little bee with new words and sign language each day!  Life is full.

We have so much happening in the next two weeks: a new job, (soon) new apartment, new baby.  The reality of of all this can be crushing at times.  Regardless, Jack and Loralie are excited, and Dottie is oblivious.  Having a new apartment that is not furnished, reminds us of all the items we don’t have.  We have found some items (a single couch, table with 4 chairs, dresser, beds, some plates….), but we understand our move into an empty apartment will take time.

We are thankful for what God has provided us these past three months in Portland.  Our sister and Brother in law have provided food and shelter, what an incredible blessing this has been.  Though we will miss their company,  we are excited to finally transition to a place of our own after 6 months of living with others.

Life doesn’t always happen how we expect or want it to.  The rubber meets the road with how we respond to life.  Our family would have not survived these last five years if we hadn’t had a solid foundation in Christ.  Our family’s identity is key to changing the perspective we view our daily lives.  Where did we turn when Jack burned his arm, when we had conflict with our business (how we responded), when we fought and had disagreements (how we sorted through conflict), when our children were disobedient (how we responded).

Please continue to pray for our family as we…

…move into our new apartment and figure out what we need to restart our lives (utensils, pots and pans, toiletries, etc etc etc).  Not just with all the small pieces we are missing, but as we connect with our neighbors and get to know them.

…grow to 6!  Baby Graves 4 is coming within the next 2 weeks(yes possibly before, during or after our move).  We have a bed and a few outfits…depending on whether its a boy or girl we have some donors with clothes waiting!  But its all the other little pieces that we need to still bring together.

…plug into our local church and establishing a community group.  That we would find the right families in the right community.

…adjust to a new job.  As I provide my knowledge and expertise, and in learning my new roles.

Chapter 57: Similarities to Daniel

16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Daniel 3: 16-18
Lately I have felt that I can relate to these three.  This journey seemed to be so simple and straight forward.  Trust God, Be Patient, God moves.  I innocently forgot that God doesn’t play it safe, He moves at a snails pace, and shows up exactly on time…in His perfect timing.  At the end of the day, no matter what, He is still our God.
Loralie is doing great in school!  She has connected with new friends, has a non-hostile school environment, and she has been recognized by the teacher as leader and role model  We are super proud of her!  Jack was enrolled in Kindergarten but was not responding well in the classroom. We decided to home school him and have seen tremendous progress!  He is incredibly smart, but requires patience.  Dottie is 19 months old and is incredibly talkative.  Every day we see more of her personality develop.  She is incredible.
We believe we will soon be able to share our next step with regards to our time in Portland and where I will be working.  Again, not yet the time for all the details (I still don’t know them all!) but we believe it is the reason why God has had me wait so long.  Of course, if this isn’t it…God must have another plan!  This has seemed to be one, long, drawn out experience of stretching our faith to build perseverance.

Please keep our family in your prayers!  We are still going through major transition as we prepare for baby #4 (still not 100% sure whether a boy or girl), Brad starting a new job, and we are still not 100% sure of what our housing will look like.  We are incredibly thankful for Michelle’s sister and brother- in-law for housing us during this time.  It seems like every time we have needs people show up.

Please continue to pray for…

-our finances, during this time of unknown, uncertainty, and transition (deposits/rent/start-up of new house things).

-our housing, whether a house(which we would prefer) or apartment and stuff to fill it…we literally have only a few items.  When we move (2-4 weeks, we think) we will have empty shelves, rooms, etc.

-a church home, we believe we have found our new church home.  Pray for wisdom and discernment.

-the kids and their adjustment in this time of transition and changing family dynamic.

The Plan

The sermon today discussed the faith of Moses who fled everything he knew,  the comfort he had only to wait for God 40 years in the dessert working for his father-in-law. I pray it isn’t a 40 year wait, but God does have a plan.

After much prayer, we believe God is asking us to patiently wait with faithfulness in Portland. He has called us to Vancouver, but the timing isn’t right. We believe this is connected with the arrival of our 4th and the need to be relaxed and focused before traveling to Vancouver. This means that we will pursue schooling for the kids in the public school system here in Portland (probably Beaverton where we are located now) and I will work in the coffee community. We still believe God is asking us to trust him with all the details. For example, we don’t currently have the financials for our own place (down payments for rent, utilities, etc), we currently don’t have any job offers, and we still need to get our schools plugged into a school (which really should be in the same area we live….).

Whether we wait 40 hours, days,  weeks, months, or years…God is faithful.  We will trust Him completely!

Please keep us in your prayers!

With much love,

The Graves Family

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