So it has been more than a month since we posted on our blog -- oops! In the last month we have:
-- Almost collected all of the necessary documents for our visas (yea!)
-- Shared about our journey at two churches
-- Taken Eliana for her one year check up and shots as well as her first eye exam - because her right eye turns out. (She's doing well overall though we will need to visit a pediatric opthamologist in January -- but she also has developed a strong dislike for strange men in lab coats even though both her doctors were very nice!)
-- Taken on about 10 hours/week of recruiting for LAM (Kevin)
-- Met up with several different ministry partners
-- Traveled to Santa Barbara for a wedding
-- Celebrated Thanksgiving on the farm with family (Katie, Brian, Jack and Emma joined us from FL!)
Eliana has changed a lot in the past month. At the end of October she was walking, but she would choose to crawl if she ever wanted to reach something in a hurry. Now she never chooses to crawl -- even though it only takes a small breeze to cause her to fall over when walking! Her walk reminds me of a mixture of someone who is in the late stages of pregnancy, and someone who has been riding a horse all day long! Nonetheless, she perseveres and is quite quick! We are slowly transitioning to a one nap vs. two nap day (which I have mixed feelings about!) and her vocabulary is growing. Besides "mama" her best word is probably "shoes". This is fitting because she is constantly on the go. She enjoyed the visit from her cousins, holding baby Emma and playing (and fighting with) Jack.
Time seems to be going quite quickly and slowly all at the same time. Looking at our visa process it seems as if we will have a visa in hand by the end of March (at the latest). That gives us around 4 months to complete our partnership team -- we have about 25% of our monthly need left to raise. We are encouraged and challenged by this. The next step in this journey is becoming more and more clear, yet at the same time there are a lot of little things that need to fall into place.
In November I (Leah) attended a Women of Faith event. One of the keynote speakers spoke about trust. She shared that she felt for years that our greatest call in life was to love God -- but now she feels that even beyond that is learning to trust God completely, and from trust comes unfettered love for and obedience to our father. I was really impacted by what she shared. Little by little God has been teaching us to trust him, but when we feel as if we might have "arrived" life happens and we realize what areas we have been holding back for our own control. When confusion and panic are swooping down, threatening to overwhelm us, God is beside us, holding out his hand, simply asking us to trust him yet again. In my quiet time I have been reading through Proverbs and Romans. Romans 12 is one of my favorite passages. I want my life to look like the challenge Paul is laying before the believers in this chapter, and I feel like the more I trust God, the more he can give me his strength to be the person he created me to be.