We have been in Sydney, Australia for 7 weeks now and cannot believe how quickly time is going! Last week we finally got internet (what a story that was!) and so now have the opportunity to blog about our time and experiences here.
Truly though, so much has happened during our time without internet that I hardly even know where to start. God's provision and favor has been with us since the beginning. Just one thing after another - housing, roommates, furnishings, etc. it was a real encouragement.
Just little things even, like praying (some might call it whining :) about not being able to drink coffee in the morning and then voila! A perfectly good coffee maker appears on the side of the road. Just a side note to all who are not familiar with this concept... everyone puts their stuff on the side of the road... it's really weird, but highly beneficial to us! We got our couch, t.v., coffee pot, desk, t.v. stand, and more. all on someone's curb to be thrown out! It truly is amazing how God provides. And a crazy thing is, in some weird way, all of our stuff coordinates and matched rather well with the each other and the house. Which if you saw the house or our couch, you would know what an accomplishment of heaven that is :).
We have truly had to buy very little for the house between curbs, the college storage, and wonderful people who donated so much to us. Even toys for the kids! I have felt so blessed by God and the body of Christ.
Quick rundown of everything (will go more in detail about stuff later but just trying to catch up right now). B is in his third week of school now and he is LOVING it! Everyday he comes home just overflowing with the stuff they are teaching. He "RPL'd" his first year, which basically means that they took all of his CFNI classes and decade of experience and gave him credit for his first full year. So he is officially in second year now. He serves in the production every Sunday and does "lock and load" every week for Sisterhood (more about Sisterhood later). And he plays football every Thursday morning as his elective. He's pretty happy!
As far as the kids and I are concerned, we have tons, if not too much, to do! Between all the services over the weekend, Sisterhood, connect groups, and the homeschooling groups we are never left bored for long. This makes me very happy :)! And the kids are really enjoying it all as well.
Which by the way, as of today, Safari is officially registered to homeschool in New South Wales. Yay!! We had the home visit this morning and we passed... whew! Now the trick lies in actually carrying out all that I said I would ;). God has been doing so much in my heart concerning this area, I am truly excited to see what He does with this. But once again, more on that later.
Let's see... what else?? The church! Hillsong Church blows my mind every week. I cannot even begin to express my thoughts and feelings on the subject for a couple of reasons. One being, it would take up too much space. I will have to save it for it's very own blog, or two, or three. Two being, that it will take me some time to even articulate it into the words that could truly bring justice to this amazing place... and that will take some time. A luxury of which I am out of for this day.
I am sitting here just trying to think of one or two sentences that could quickly encapsulate for you, all that this place is and means to me (us) and I can't. All I can do is just feel this amazing wave of emotion that is just not yet ready to be confined and restricted to words on a page. But I will soon. I promise. I will get my write on and do my absolute best, as writer, to take you on a journey as much as possible and let you experience even just a smidgen of what Hillsong is like. It could just change your life ;).
At the risk of taking too much of your time, I will quickly give some highlights and lowlights of our life in Australia. We don't have dryers so we hang all our clothes outside. It's kinda nice but really takes getting used to. I have to plan my whole day around doing my laundry. You have to know when it is going to rain, and get it out at the right times of the day, etc. It is a lot of work. And I don't care what anyone else says, dryers are more convenient! But it's cool. I am embracing it :).
We don't have a car so we walk everywhere. It is about a mile or so to the church. B walks there every day, sometimes multiple times a day. The kids and I walk there at least 5 times a week. We walk about a mile and a half going to the grocery store and back. I will be honest, I cringe when I have to go to the grocery store. It is just not fun bringing all that back and I usually have to struggle to not be in a bad mood by the time we get home, but once again, I choose to embrace it. I feel for the kids because this is a ton of walking for little legs, but they do so awesome. I am so proud of them!
There are so many other things to talk about, but I will have to save it for next time. I know that this is said and used so many times that I am almost reluctant to say it, but I will anyway. Please keep us in your prayers. As wonderful as certain aspects are, it is really hard. So hard sometimes that I really question what in the world we are doing! I feel like life is in survival mode just about everyday and I am getting really sick of that feeling. Jobs seem an impossibility to get here and we never know how we are going to pay for anything, but each and every time God comes through in such amazing and miraculous ways.
We both feel that immense stretching and inner pressure that comes with God pushing you to new territory with Him, and you are just not quite sure if you have what it takes or if you are going to make it through on the other side in one piece. The best way I can describe it is like God is trying to squeeze you through a metal opening that the door has been blown off and so the opening is very jagged, sharp metal. An even bigger problem is, it is about three times too small for you to fit. You have no option of turning around, so you just squeeze yourself through. In doing this you feel the jagged metal cutting into your flesh and ripping you to shreds as you pass though to the other side. Lovely, isn't it? :) But I suppose that is the point. He wants to rip off some our "flesh" so that more of Him can be revealed in and through us. And for that reason, we keep going. Offering every aspect of it as worship to Him because He is the only one worth going through all of this for.
Don't misunderstand me. I am happy. I am very happy here. Even in the midst of all of this my soul is more satisfied than it has ever been. True, I have days where all I wanna do is get on a plane and go home. Mostly because home is easy. And sometimes I am tired of the struggle and the inner pressure, tired of keeping my faith up and squeezing through that door, but even still God has revealed Himself to us even more precious than ever. And so we press on, and as Bobbie Houston so beautifully said, just let the road teach us what the road needs to each us. I just pray that this is a short road we are on. More like a quick jaunt down the road :).
We love you all and pray God's immense love and blessing on your life so that you may know Him more.