Thursday, January 22, 2009

Provision and Abundance

Lesson of the week: God provides. No, no, God does more than provide: He blesses, and He blesses abundantly.
Last Saturday (our supposed "family day"), Denny and I were sitting at our table frustrated and confused. Lil' D was trying to sleep while the roommates were home, cleaning and going about their normal business. It's not that they're abnormally loud or disrespectful in the slightest, but our apartment has great acoustics; in other words, it is insanely loud in our room. I had been getting much too stressed out about the noise and we were discussing how our situation had become unhealthy for us: we were getting mad at each other, our roommates, and every creak of the floor. We weren't able to spend quality time together, because we could never count on the house being empty and outdoors is not always comfortable in the Canadian winter. While we were having this discussion, I received an e-mail from a good friend I've made through our church, asking if we had received the notice about the Brazzeal's (the pastor/leader of our church who is currently spending 6 months in Florida) empty house and whether or not we might be interested. I called her right away to find out the details, and she went on to e-mail the couple for me. All said and done, within 24 hours we had heard about how they needed someone to stay in their house while they were away, e-mailed them, received an e-mail back from them, and confirmed that, yes, we would be more than willing.
So, cutting to the good part, we will be moving upon our return from Quebec City next week (we leave Sunday the 25th)! It is incroyable (incredible) how quickly it happened and what an incredible, incredible, blessing it is; a completely wonderful, undeserved answer to prayer. This house is beautiful: 3 floors, 3 bedrooms, beautiful colors and art on the walls (all done by their daughter); I could go on and on. And it is all for us for the next 4 months! It is located downtown, very close to a metro station, just a bit farther from the YWAM office but very close to many other things we're involved in (volunteering, etc.). We can't believe how much space we will suddenly have, and we can't wait to be able to host church (our church meets at different homes), YWAM meetings, and friends for dinner... I am still in awe...
So please, come visit us! We can house you, all of you! You will be staying in the guest room, otherwise known as Dennis' room, so just bring him in to us when he cries... See you soon!

Friday, January 16, 2009


In Montreal, a look out the window to check the weather can be deceiving. Par example, the last three days have danced around -30 degrees fahrenheit without a cloud in the sky. The sunny days are the coldest! You know it's one of those days when the moment you step outdoors, your lungs reject such frigid oxygen and you immediately start coughing. Or when the wind blows in your face, and you tear up a little, your eye lashes suddenly have frozen tear-particles attached to them. Wow. This is fun!
Lauren and I are actually glad that even the locals are saying this is exceptionally cold weather. For months now we've repeatedly seen the look of pity in people's eyes when we told them where we were from and that this winter would be our first. They would laugh and say something obscure about how it makes you tougher. Finally, now, we're facing the monster and we will not be undone. We march on, shielded by two layers of pants, wool socks and boots, three layers up top, a beanie or two, gloves, and a scarf. And there's more where that came from!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Home is a good place to be. There's nothing like coming down that airport escalator, knowing your loved ones are waiting to embrace you at the bottom...especially when you're carrying your first-born baby boy in your arms. Lil' D-Mike showed off for his Grandma LoLo, Grandma Lou, Grandpa Fitz, and Uncle Jim immediately, with his good nature and the Irish jig he's perfected (no explanation possible, you gotta see it). We were impressed and relieved with the way he handled the travel- amidst all the delays, long flights, and airport madness. I'm not anxious to do it again, but he was incredible, a true traveler at heart!

I was afraid the two weeks in Orange County might pass too quickly, but it was the perfect amount of time: any longer and I would have become too comfortable (too adapted to the warm weather!); any shorter and I would have felt cheated of time and worn out from all the traveling. We were able to spend plenty of time at home with Lois and Jimmy, Denny's mom and brother, just relaxing and watching bowl games, as well as time to visit with my parents (they were finally able to spend some q.t. with their first grandson!), the beautiful Manthorne fam (holding Kelsi and watching Kai and Kaci laugh at the D-Man), our great friends Tim and Karen (and their cute new pup Dublin), and last but most definitely not least, the Dubranskys (my sis and her fam). Lily, my sister's 9 month old, is 4 months older than Dennis and we were fully entertained watching her and Dennis interact. I can't believe that Dennis will soon be crawling and standing up like Lily is- it is so fascinating to watch these babies learn!

We were also able to have time for a small concert, where Denny played some new songs and we talked about our Montreal experience thus far, as well as what we hoped for in the future. Organizing the event really helped us sort through all we had learned during this time and it was so great to be able to talk to people more in depth about our experiences. I had some awesome conversations after we shared, and felt so affirmed and reassured speaking with other people about the radical life Jesus calls us to and the way they are trying to do that in Orange County.

So, we are back in Montreal now, where it is 15 degrees and snowing! A slight change from California, but beautiful all the same... (most of the time, at least!) I miss everyone already, but just being home gave me the renewal I needed to last through the Canadian winter.