Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are you listening?

I (Ed) thought I should take a stab at this updating thing, it goes. I have been talking to Wendi about how ineffective I have felt over here, mostly because of the language, and some of the reasons behind it. For about the last two weeks this has been on my mind and I could not shake it. And then, as kids always do, they gave me a great illustration to what I am doing to my heavenly Father.

A few days ago four out of the five kids, wasn't Shaylee, decided to forget every biblical principle Wendi and I have taught them over their lifetime. It was right after supper and everything came to a head so I had them all sit down. I went through how their attitude should be like Christ (Phil 2), asked some of them to tell me where they had sinned and how they could begin to have an attitude that was Christlike. Jaylin and Jayce were doing the talking while Tate and Gage were content to zone out. I noticed that Tate seemed to have lost complete interest in any words coming from my general direction. dad's tend to do I called Tate back into the conversation with two simple questions. "Tate are you listening to anything I said?" Tate, "Yeah!" "Tell me what I just said." Tate paused and said, "Was there a 'the' in there somewhere?" That abruptly ended the lesson time.

Over the next day or two I realized I was doing the same thing my son was doing to me. I was not truly listening to my Father. I was just halfheartedly listening to Him. I realized that it was affecting all areas in my life. I was not being a good husband or dad. I was not taking the time to get deeper into scripture to hear His voice and so I had nothing left to give my family and the people around me.

By the way, there was no 'the' in the sentence I asked him about:) Listen to the Father; He knows how life needs to be lived.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Flood

We have so much to be thankful for regarding this weekend's flood! We just keep thinking "Whew, I'm so glad that..." Let me share a few. I had gone to bed on Thursday night afraid of the river level, and even dreamed that we were flooded. When I drove the boys to school Friday morning, we prayed about it because the river was higher than ever. At 7:50 I called Ed who was 3 1/2 hours away at meetings and told him that I was nervous and asked him what I should be doing. At 8:15 the police came by and told me that I needed to get ready. He told me a lot more, but all I understood was to get ready. I wondered what exactly that meant. Then shortly after that counsel, the firemen rang the bell and told me that I needed to take my kids and evacuate, that the river would soon be flooding our street. I went in and woke up Jaylin, changed Shaylee's diaper, and had the kids brush their know, all the most important things! My friend also called and told me she would come and help me get things ready, but there was no time, and I just gathered a few things together and loaded the kids and the essentials into the van. With every trip I made to the van, the fireman who was waiting at the gate kept motioning for me to leave...the river was now on the road. I went back into the house, wondering if I should try to save anything from the water, but realized that I had no time, so at 8:45 I got in the van and drove off, through about 8 inches of water already in the road.

As I drove to my friend's house, I was so thankful that she had called to offer us a place to stay...where else would I have gone? Next I realized how relieved I was that the evacuation happened in the morning, instead of the middle of the night! The boys were at school, so Jaylin, Gage, Shaylee and I stayed with this gracious family. We watched the news and realized that all over Slovakia, flooding was going on, many people's homes were underwater. At noon, we were able to go back to the house, as a dam break had brought on the flood, and the water level was already going back down.

I went in the house, and was instantly grateful again that the main floor was dry and undisturbed. I walked into the basement and found that two feet of water covered the floor, but with all we had seen on the news earlier in the day, I was so thankful that it wasn't worse than that! Ed was able to make it home by 4:30, despite the rain, the widespread flooding, and many closed roads.

The rest of the day then, people were in our house and our yard, shoveling the mud, pumping out the water, sorting through the ruins, and cleaning up the floor. Youth group kids even came to play with our kids! We were so blessed by these hard workers who helped us until the job was done at 9:30! When they left we had a clean tile floor, and we were amazed at how fast everyone worked to get that far in the process.

The next day we continued to clean up the yard and haul away the garbage. We heard story after story of water levels in homes in a lower part of town which were so much worse than ours. We lost some things that were being stored in the basement, but not much at all, and we are grateful again, that after sitting in water for about ten hours, our washer and dryer are still working!!! The dryer doesn't sound completely right, but it is still drying clothes, so we are thankful!

Our landlord lost quite a lot, as they were storing some of their things in a basement room. I guess this is one good way to clean things out. Again, we are thankful for the way God brought us through this bump in the road.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Real Dilemma

Ed is in the middle of his two week trip away, training the team of American Interns who are spending the whole summer with our JV team here in Slovakia. They were first in Austria, then Czech Republic, and are now in western Slovakia. Tomorrow they will begin visiting the cities and schools where English camps will be held, trying to advertise the camps to invite as many kids as possible to attend.

This past weekend, I drove the kids to Czech to visit Ed and to meet our team of Interns. I was a bit nervous about the know: unfamiliar roads, five hours, one adult, five kids (one being a one-year old), language barrier...what was I thinking??? Many people were praying for the trip for us, and for courage for me...thank you!!! It ended up being a great weekend, and we are so glad we went.

The only thing that could have ended in disaster was on the way there, when Shaylee first fell asleep after one hour of traveling and I was hoping her nap would go for the next 4 hours...:-) except that Tate piped up with "I have to pee." I told him that I couldn't stop because Shaylee would for sure wake up if the van stopped. He then asked if there were any empty bottles in the van (a trick we've used on previous trips). There weren't, but I did remember that in our garbage box was a McDonald's sack from a few weeks ago and I told him to check if there was a cup inside it. There was!!! So he went in it, filling it to within an inch from the top...then handed it to me. :-( So I took the cup in my shifting hand and steered with the other hand. Now what...I was completely stuck, and in a real dilemma!! I was driving 100 km/hr and then right away entered a tunnel with no shoulder!! I was panicking...if I had to stop quick and needed to shift...I could just picture (and smell) the contents of that cup all over me. I put the window down, but couldn't bring myself to dump it, as it would probably fly back in my face and would definitely get all over the van, so I put it back up again. I held the cup like that for about 10 minutes, contemplating what to do that would bring about the least amount of damage. I had slowed down in the tunnel, as the speed limit had dropped to 80, and then slowed down some more. I knew that I had to get rid of it soon, because when the tunnel ended, I was thinking I had to slow down and make a turn. So I again put my window down. I went with my gut instead of my conscience...and tossed the whole cup!!! The kids were shocked that I had littered, and I was too, but I assured them that there was really no other option!! The only thing that I could tell that got covered in that liquid, was my left hand, as it was dripping when I pulled it back inside the van. A few wet wipes later, all was good again! Whew!!! Disaster avoided!! We will now try to remember to always travel with an empty lidded bottle!