But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.
So much has happened in the last six months. I’ve started this update and rewritten it several times. I keep thinking I’ll do the update after “this” is finished, or after we know more, or whatever the next thing is. But I have let it go too long. I’ll work through a few major “events’, then follow with a ministry update. Ill close out with a photo gallery and captions telling some of the high points of our family events.
Things have been quite crazy around here
Crazy feels like an understatement. I’ll give you a few highlights (some are more like lowlights), and you can scroll down for a chronological photo story.
For some time now, we’ve been “loosely” looking for a place to move near my family in Kaufman, Texas. We weren’t in any real hurry; just looking for just the right place to become available. We weren’t going to push any situation, we’ve just been waiting on God’s timing. And, as usual, His timing is always perfect–even though it may not have felt that way.
Back in November, we walked through a home that had been on the market for awhile. We loved it, but it would definitely come with some challenges. So we sat down and weighed the pros/cons and decided how much we could afford since it would come with some hefty costs to fix the problems we would inherit. We put in an offer that matched our expectations and let God take care of the rest. After waiting (and really thinking it wasn’t going to happen), our offer was accepted in February! We were totally caught off guard and scrambled to list our house in Carrollton so we could follow through with the purchase.
Again, God’s timing is amazing. We listed the house and could barely keep up with the offers that began streaming in immediately. Within three days, we had accepted an offer that was way beyond our expectations! About one month later, we were moving into our new home that was actually built in 1900 and has a rich history attached to it. It also has a pretty big lot with tons of room for the dogs, storage, and entertainment (see the photo gallery below). We’ve already had neighbors over and have jumped into the community. Of course, I already knew most of them, but Scot is getting a big welcome from my hometown peeps.
The street our home is on has a pretty amazing community presence. Many of the homes were built in the same era as ours and large trees line the street. On holidays, the homes proudly display their American flags, Christmas lights, and decorations (as well as other holiday decor) are a-plenty. The biggest “celebration” is Halloween. The entire town shows up to visit the homes on our street and the homeowners put lots of time and money into decorating for what turns out to be a city-wide event. We plan to participate during this time as an opportunity to pour into our new community.
Nose Job (not really)
During the moving experience, I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my nose. It’s normally a simple Mohs procedure, but because of the placement on my nose we decided we should follow it with plastic surgery for symmetrical healing. All went well and they removed all of the cancer. However, I wasn’t able to help with any lifting or bending over for a few weeks. Natalie came up from Corpus Christi to help with some packing, and Amanda helped after the move by unpacking the kitchen.
We also had some amazing help from our Kaufman church peeps and some good friends. We couldn’t have done it without everyone!
Welcome to the ER
Not only is Scot learning to find his way around Kaufman, he’s had several chances to learn the ropes at the local emergency room. Three times to be exact. The first one was for himself the first week we were in the house. He ran into one of the not yet assembled bed frames with his foot. Ended up with three stitches and tons of blood for me to clean up.
His second visit was with my mom. Although most of my family lives in Kaufman, we were all (except Scot and Rebecca) indisposed at the time my mom decided to catch her car door on her leg. It tore a big chunk out of her calf and she also had some stitches. At this point, the staff is thinking Scot is becoming a permanent fixture.
Then, just a few weeks later, my dad passed out at a community meeting and most of the family was at a memorial together. I was babysitting and Scot was at home, so he got to do ER duty again. This story is still continuing…read on for more information.
I can’t do an update without mentioning my kids. We have a couple of exciting news bits!
Joe: still at the same job and doing really well. He’s received some recognition of his excellent work. And for some reason he still enjoys living in Austin.
Amanda: She’s pregnant! Woohoo! We can’t wait to meet Lilly Mae in December.
Natalie: Like mother, like daughter. Natalie went back to college and graduated with honors. Summa cum laude! I knew she had it in her. She’s worked so hard and now has her own content and technical writing business. Visit her website here. Or connect on Facebook or Instagram!
We lost our sweet furbaby
Most of you knew Georgia, our mini schnauzer. I got her in 2005 for Natalie when she still lived in Lubbock. Georgia ended up coming to live with me and has followed me ever since. She was my sidekick in Mexico and then she moved back to the states with me when I married Scot. She lived an amazing and adventurous life; more than most humans get to experience. She starred alongside Amanda in FBA’s production of Annie (as Sandy) and enjoyed the concentrated time at school during the months of rehearsals leading up to it. We were sad to lose her, but we’re thankful that she is no longer in pain. If you want to know about how we made our way through treating her kidney disease with fresh food instead of kibble, you can read this article I wrote about homemade dog food.
Since moving to Kaufman, we returned to my sending church, Country Bible Church, for Sunday worship. However, I’m still very involved with the women’s ministry at Grace Bible Church. I’ve made some sweet friends and I enjoy the work we are doing to minister to the ladies at Grace. We’re deeply connected to both churches and thankful for the love and support we receive from both.
Since my last update, Women of Grace finished up our study of Acts, had a spring retreat, and we’ve done some summer studies. The leadership team got to have a retreat/planning meeting at The Barn where we planned the activities for the upcoming year. I also serve on the curriculum team, and we’ve been meeting all summer to develop and write the curriculum on a study of David in Samuel and through the Psalms. I’m also the lead on the Fall Retreat planning team. We’ll be having a panel of speakers for the learning sessions, and I’ll be teaching one of the sessions. Our subject matter and title is “Exalt”, and we’ll be digging into Psalm 34. Needless to say it has been a busy summer!
Health issues with my Dad
This part is related to the ER event I mentioned before. Dad spent a couple of days in the hospital after passing out and they determined he had some sort of “heart event.” Surgery was schedule to repair a 90% blockage of his right artery. It went well and he came home the next day. It went downhill from there. All kinds of complications from his other health issues began to manifest, and he’s been back in the hospital ever since. He’s no longer having to be closely monitored, but they aren’t ready to send him to rehab yet because of some issues. This has been a long month in the hospital.
Because we now live near the family, we’ve been able to help with the responsibilities and care of my parents during this trying time. My sister and I have been alternating days/nights at the hospital when necessary. We’ve also had help from others when we need it. We would appreciate your prayers as my dad continues to regain his strength and get back to his busy life where we all miss him!
As the online ministry I work with has evolved into a bigger focus on training missionaries in the Global South, I’m excited to present to you the latest group of Spanish speaking missionaries. This map shows where they are from and where they are (or will be) serving. The map is in Spanish, but I think you get the idea from the arrows. The Andrade family (#8 on the map) recently left Mexico and have arrived safely in Albania!
I’m continuing to manage and develop the online resources as we move our branding and offerings into this more focused area. We are also still working on converting the library of printed books into digital books. All of this makes resources for theological training more accessible for Spanish speakers to prepare for missionary service.
There’s so much stuff that goes on in my ministry, so I created a video that goes over the background and some of the changes we’re making to the format. The video is several minutes long, but I think you’ll find it informative. Be sure to also scroll down to see the photo gallery with all the latest details that I didn’t mention above.
Click on the first photo and click through the pop-up lightbox to see what all we’ve been up to!