Saturday, June 22, 2013


i am praying today for things as little as baseball games and as big as forest fires..... 
to things as small as obedient children to things as big as a baby being born.
 today i will pray for my relationships....with our families and with each other and with friends.
 i will pray for broken promises and hardened hearts and resentments built. 
i will pray that love is found in a place of despair and anger and loneliness. 
i will pray and praise for the lost who are found and the children in families and the endless kisses given.
it feels like a great day to pray....

you know my heart, you know my needs,
you know every part of me.
so even if it's just to speak Your name.

lifting my hands......

i'm gonna pray.

Friday, June 14, 2013

God's story.....a leap of faith from Sweden to America.....and the in-between

 i truly believe that god places us in situations to test our test our commitment to him.....
to see if we will do what he wishes of us.

this is a recent story that began in a mcdonald's late at night after a baseball game. 
my family has learned to really dislike mcdonalds, for apparent reasons, but i felt this need to go there.
 i even made the comment, "let's just go grab some cheap burgers".
i NEVER say that. 
but this night i felt drawn to ronald mcdonald's house.
a god-thing?
now i truly believe it was.

 on this night we met daniel. he had a little "set-up" at his table, which was very close to ours.
it was about 10:00 pm so the only other people there were some cute little grandmas sitting behind us talking about how their grandchildren never send thank yous for anything.
i felt like maybe THIS was the reason we were here.....
i was suppose to be learning a lesson from them....
but i almost always have my kids send thank yous to people.
so i'm good.
must be something else.

and then dic did what he usually does.....
he struck up a conversation with daniel.....a 20-year-old swede who found the desire to see the U.S. 
the kicker? he chose to see it on a bicycle. 
beginning in new york city and traveling across the country to san diego, ca.
lucky for us, he chose to ride through the coldest parts of the country (and even a little into canada).
he said he had wondered after a bit if it was a wise decision to possibly head south after he came across rotten, snowy, cold weather in new york. he actually said that there were nights he was soo cold he wasn't sure if he'd wake up in the morning.
when he had done his internet research, it appeared that new york would have descent weather when he started his journey in april.
not soo much.
and he HATES the cold.
he's such a positive person, so i could tell that he meant this when he spoke of the cold.
we are alike in that respect!

anyway.......we asked him where he stays when he's done riding for the day.
he tent camps. that moment he was in an area of our little town where there isn't much tent-camping (none), and the motels aren't much to speak of. but, he did say that someone had referred him to x-place.
x-place where someone was stabbed-to-death (or shot) last year.
not a nice place.
and then the words came out of dic's mouth.....
"would you like to sleep in our camper?"
i was a tiny bit stunned for a second
 (not sure why, as i have a heart for "strays"....but i've never brought a "stray" human home. :)

1st morning.... bugs

and now i realize that he wasn't a "stray" at all.
he was EXACTLY where god wanted him.
and us.
and so once the translation of "camper" came through and was understood, he shockingly accepted our offer.

and so our story begins.
and so GOD'S story begins.

taking time out of weeding the flower beds to play

loud and crazy dance party

daniel's first s'more

he took our boys on a couple of bike-rides across the city.
WE have never left from our house on bikes because of the highway traffic, yet we trusted our new friend with our kids.
they had a blast.
and came back very tired.
22 miles later.

little one didn't get to go this time, but she sure looks good on her new bike, huh?

he had planned to ride his bike through the Black Hills.......he hadn't experienced hills yet.....
or mountains.
we asked if we could take him. 

he's waited a very long time for this.

he was amazed and excited to finally be here.

i love this picture. i thought i had moved far enough away from his shot. guess not. 

is HE our 5th child i've been wondering about???

hiking up to Harney Peak

at the top
we were above the clouds....soo cool!

daniel had NEVER seen a baseball game. 
he told us about a sport in sweden that would be closely related to baseball and would translate to english as "smash-ball". you use either a skinny bat or a flat bat and a tennis-like ball.

he stayed an extra night to watch zach play baseball--zach is playing 1st base (shown behind daniel)

chairlift to the presidents slide in keystone

ready to go!

crazy horse monument

Sylvan of our favs. places. soo beautiful


 and then it was time to say goodbye.
daniel had intended to stay in rapid city for 3 days. 
he stayed for 8 full days.
because of rain and wind he was held up a little longer than he'd anticipated.
(oh, and because he LOVED us!!!)

mapping out the roads of the big horn mountains and yellowstone

dic had a great time having daniel here.....we both did.

dic drove daniel into the big horns to make up a couple of days he had lost.
his goal is to meet his parents in san diego (flying in from sweden) to continue on to Hawaii for vacation.

i was disappointed we didn't all get to see him off, but seeing pictures, i'm pretty sure my tears would have been flowing.

all ready to go!

this was an experience we will never forget.
and hopefully God brought daniel into our lives to KEEP him a part of our lives.
we all talked about having him come back next summer to stay and work and hang out with us.
(hopefully our next house will have a spare bedroom so he will have his own space).
he loved it here!
we loved him here!
here is the video dic took of him riding away. *sniff sniff*

we love and miss you daniel!!!

hands from across the world.....from africa to sweden to the u.s.

god's story is the greatest story.
and from this time on i will remember that even when things seem a little bit silly and crazy,
if i am feeling led to something,
 i will continue to take that leap of faith and go with it.

...even if it means eating gross burgers at mcdonald's.....
...even if it means taking in a "stranger" at the drop of a hat....
...even if it means taking an entire week off of normal weekly activity to play......

FAITH is so important.
FAITH makes us grow.
FAITH is fun.


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