Thursday, July 1, 2010

I just realized that it has been six months since I last posted. I guess you know that much has gone on around here since then!

Mick and I have been to Germany a couple of times, Mick has been back and forth to America, he has been to Milan and all over ITALY (yes, without me…all I got was a text message on my phone, “In Rome, what should I do?” I wrote back “Do as the Romans!”)

Lisa Collins came to visit us…we took her to Budapest and Lisa and I did a day in the baths with colleagues. I had three weeks of fun showing Lisa my city. It was hard to see her go, but I think her family wanted her home.

I have been busy teaching ESL, working with a young girls’ Bible study, and visiting with my friends from the Economic University. Many people came in and out our doors as they came to Prague, either to see it or for meetings. We would love to show you around…so go ahead, come on over!

In early May we found out we are going to be grandparents…so I guess we really found out that Jonathan and Katherine are going to be parents. Exciting news!!!

We call the baby Stryker. NO, that is not going to be the baby’s name…but we do not want to call him/her an “IT” and we do not want to always say, “Him/Her” when speaking of the child…so Mick and I (and I think Katherine does too) call our baby Stryker. We do not know if Stryker is a boy or girl yet. We wait to see…and while I wait I pray every morning before my feet touch the floor for baby Stryker. I pray specific things for Stryker. I can not wait to hold this child in my arms. But I have to wait until January.

During May I spent a week in Basel, Switzerland at a workshop. I enjoyed reviewing much I’d been told years ago (I’d like to say that I learned years ago, but…) and the fellowship with old friends and making new ones. I have to say that I found a flaw in me there…I found that I’ve become a CITY SNOB. There is no city as pretty as Prague and therefore, I walked through Basel thinking…”Wow…they are woefully lacking in beauty.”

This month has been a busy month. My parents came to visit. They did great on the public transportation (which they were allowed to use at no cost…age has its perks!) We went to Dresden, Germany one day and again I was reminded…there is no city as pretty as Prague, but I must say that Dresden was close! We stood on the balcony of Europe.

My parents enjoyed the sites of Prague and shopping for family and friends.

It was hard to let them go home but we had to leave in two days for a trip to Poland so we allowed them to go home and continue life!

Jonathan left for his first deployment on the twenty-sixth. We did much calling back and forth before that day. It wasn’t as hard as I thought…and I believe that the reason is because so many people are covering him (and his wife and mom) in prayer.

I’ve heard that he is doing fine. Not where he will be yet, but waiting on his men to show up and then he will enter Iraq.

We covet your prayers for him and his family. Katherine will move back to Fort Worth in July and live with her parents. It is their plan for Jonathan to be home for the birth of Stryker and then to return to his duty.

Katherine will remain in Texas until he returns.

Mick and I plan on being in the states for a year beginning in May of 2011. Daniel will graduate and Mick will continue working on his PhD.

So much going on with us…we know that much is going on in your lives too.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that as we make our plans to come and go (Mick leaves Saturday for the states and then we have a trip to Madrid planned for the 11th of July) that God is in control. If I did not know this I’d be over-whelmed most of the time.

I love the book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. This past week her devotionals have been about resting in the Lord…sensing His Presence…He is with us! What confidence I gain when I remember that. We may go and come, we may entertain or be entertained…we may be alone or in a crowd…but He is with us…We can face the day knowing our security is in Him.

HAPPY FOURTH and summer blessings…

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Streets of Prague

I walked the streets of Prague with two of my sons, a precious daughter-in-love and a treasured family friend this past Christmas. What a joy it was taking Daniel and Jonathan back to places they saw when much younger (we were in training here in Prague for about 4 weeks in 2001.) And it was exciting to watch Katherine and Eric experience the awe of this beautiful city for the first time.

They came and left…it went by so quickly…but was, oh, so very wonderful!

Yesterday I walked the streets of Old Town alone and noticed “IT.”
Today I rode Tram #16 alone (well, with many other people…but you know what I mean.)
As I rode across the bridge over the Vltava river I looked to my right and saw the steeples of St. Peter and Paul Church. I looked back to my left and could barely make out the silhouette of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral because of the misting snow and noticed “IT” again.

What is this “IT?”
I noticed that I was not depressed in the least.
Since the boys left home for college (“Why they want to leave me?”…my rendition of a line from MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING) I can not remember being with them and parting (leaving them or them leaving me) and not being just a bit depressed.
But “IT” was different today.

Okay, when I rode past the church of St. Ludmila at Namesti Miru tears did come to my eyes. I couldn’t help it when I saw the steps where just a few days ago Daniel and I stood together for a great picture (see below!) But, still, they were tears of joy and not of depression or sadness. I had a little thanksgiving service right there in my tram seat.

So what is the difference? Why is “IT” different now?
I know it isn’t because I do not miss the guys or love them less.
I’d like to think that it is because I’m a little more mature these days (not older… MATURE!)
But the truth is: The LORD has done a great work in my heart. He taught me to TRUST and He has given me HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
I love the boys as MEN (I’ve enjoyed every stage of their lives.) I look forward to watching Jonathan and Katherine start a family (in the future…no rush guys) and be a part of their traditions.
I was truly excited about sending Daniel back to college. Only one and a half more years and he will be a man out in the world looking for a job.
Christopher and Katie didn’t get to join us this year…However, I know that God has plans for them that are worth the wait also.
And these plans will not take place if they are with me all the time. We all have to live life!
So much ahead. Such great expectations as we wait to see GOD ALIVE and WELL in the Stockwell family.

So, when Tram #16 pulled up near my apartment and I dismounted I did so with my head held high, a slight smile on my face (Okay, it was a half smile) and JOY in my heart.

I walk the streets of Prague daily with PEACE and HOPE.

“We wait for the LORD; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy name. May Your faithful love rest on us, LORD, for we put our hope in You.” Psalm 33:20-22