Monday, May 2, 2011

The Circle of Prague

Two years ago Mick and I flew into Prague to make it our new home.
All our earthly possessions were in a truck on their way from Kiev, Ukraine. I’m told that Spring came to Prague that April morning…all I know is that it was a beautiful day. We had Mexican Salad with the Pearce family and then were taken to the “Guest apartment” to spend our first night in the Czech Republic.

The next few days are a blur…they were filled with shopping and putting together new pieces of furniture from Ikea. We ran back and forth from the “Guest apartment” to our apartment two blocks away. We were getting ready for the truck full of “our treasures” to arrive. Finally, it came and we were able to move into our new home, Korunni 89, 130 00 Praha 3.

It wasn’t hard to make this new place home…we loved the apartment, the location, and Prague. That first week in the new place was full of unpacking and “finding the right place” for everything. Soon our apartment was ready for guest. We were at HOME and entertaining!!!

Fast forward two years…April 2011 and my apartment looks much like it did on April 14, 2009. This time the boxes are brown not white. But no matter, all my earthly possessions are being packed again. This time they will be in storage for over twelve months.

Last night as I lay in the old “Guest apartment” (now Russell and Melinda Kyzar’s home) I realized that we had come full circle…
Two years ago it was a beautiful spring and we were embarking on a new season of life, today it is spring (I wouldn’t say it is beautiful) and we are embarking on a new season of life.

This apartment has been a great home to us for these two years. We have entertained precious friends. We have had many guest from the states…two of our sons and one daughter-in-love…my parents…Lisa Collins…wow, so many I better stop or I’ll forget someone and I’d hate to do that. We enjoyed every single person who entered our home. We pray that they were blessed as we were by being with them.

Many have asked if I’m sad. The answer is “Of course I’m sad!” But I have to add, I look forward with expectation and full trust in the Lord to the upcoming year. I pray that the seminary housing we will be living in will become home to us…a place we can bless and be blessed. And I believe that God has a wonderful new apartment for us when we return to Prague. It will be July 2012 when we return, not spring, but a new season of life for us all the same.

“From everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him.”
Psalm 103:17

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter thoughts this fine Saturday...

I’ve just finished making a banana pudding and a chocolate-chip pie (with Carmen’s music in the background!!!) Yes, getting ready for our Easter feast with friends tomorrow. As I was cleaning up I thought of years past when the clean up was much harder because I had dye to clean off the table and sometimes the floor. Not this year…which mean, NO KIDS IN THE HOUSE…SAD.
Reminds me of the scripture…”Where there is no ox the stall is clean!” All my little oxen are gone…and I miss them so!

However, I am celebrating…Celebrating the RESURRECTION OF MY LORD and SAVIOR. Memories are a wonderful thing, sure often they make me cry…but how I savor them. Memories of the activities of EASTERS past and memories of my Savior’s presence in all those times.

I’m reading a book by Alicia Britt Chole called Finding an Unseen God. I have been following Alicia for months now by getting her weekly emails. I love her writings…I believe her to be an intellect.
Don’t laugh. I’m not saying that I am one.
I’m no Vizzini (Princess Bride) believing myself to have a dizzying intellect (…”Wait till I get going! Now, where was I?”)
I love that she is BUT that she writes to those who are not!

It has been enlightening to hear from one who knew nothing about Christ…who didn’t believe He existed…but who came to know Him in all His fullness. I’m learning so much from her and love seeing HIM through fresh eyes.

I’m choosing to look at this Easter through fresh eyes…no little children around (I do get to see the kids in a week)…just spending most of my energy on seeing Him…not the pretty Him, but the ugly Him; covered in my your sin.

But Hallelujah He is no longer covered in that sin, He is alive forever more…sitting at the right hand of the Father…Changing lives of those who don’t even know He exist…He does…and forever more shall!!!

He is Risen, He is Risen INDEED and it makes a difference!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

To Look like Jesus

Ian Anderson Stockwell was our 2010 Christmas gift. The only blight of the day was that his father had not arrived from Iraq. But the rest of his family was there to welcome little Ian into the BIG world.

When Mick and I finally got into the delivery room to view another male child for the Stockwell family I was over-whelmed with love…and something else. Ian didn’t look like our babies…he was beautiful (and this is not just the grandma in me speaking!) BUT he didn’t resemble the Stockwells at all. He had dark hair and, I’m told, his mom’s nose.

Funny how I kept looking at him intently to find something in him that said, even if in a quite way, “I’m a Stockwell.”

We left little Ian behind on January 13th and headed back to Prague. I watch monthly when Katherine puts up Ian’s pictures to see if he looks any more like a Stockwell. On February 25th as I was staring at that picture I had this thought...

How I long to see something of us in him. Why??? I can’t answer the why. The Lord reminded me that He wants me to LOOK LIKE HIM in this world. He wants me to show His likeness as I go through life. I wonder if He stares at me just trying to see some little something that lets the world know I’m his? Does He have to look that hard??? I pray that is not the case. I pray that I have His eyes, His ears, His hands, His feet.

The other day I was thinking of Ian and I came to the conclusion that he may never look like a Stockwell (though his Grumps seems to think that the latest picture looked somewhat like Jonathan.) For a minute I wondered if it would bother me if he didn’t look like a Stockwell…then I had this precious thought…
Who cares if he looks like a Stockwell or an Anderson, I just want him to look like JESUS. That is what I pray for our Ian…may he look like Jesus!

"For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans 8:29

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Walking by Faith

February 1, 2011…My how the time flies when you are having fun and when you are not…time is always flying by.

I’ve been in a nostalgic mood since we returned from our wonderful vacation in the states…what a precious time we had. The Lord allowed us to witness the birth of our first grandchild (Ian Anderson Stockwell) and to see all the kids and our parents and a few other family members and precious family friends. When the Lord gives me little handfuls on purpose like this I am always thankful…but also, a little nostalgic when the time is over.

Last night Mick and I watched a very long and drawn out movie called “Seraphim Falls.” Pierce Brosnan and Laim Neeson stared in this western movie that I found fairly dull until the end. Long story short, Liam is after Pierce the entire film for something Pierce did at Seraphim Falls…they finally meet up in a desert both about half dead. Neither can kill the other and so they walk toward the mountains in the distance without gun or knife (which had been a big part of the movie!)
Last night the ending made me think about “FORGIVENESS.”

But this morning I read today’s devotional in Jesus Calling…The first line says, “Follow Me one step at a time…that is all I require of you.” Sarah Young talks about the mountains that we see ahead of us. We often look at them and don’t look where we are stepping and get caught up in what seemed to be “little mole hills.”

Pierce and Liam kept looking toward the mountains in the distance while trudging through the desert. They saw the mountain as a place of rest…a little different from what Sarah was talking about…they thought they knew what the outcome was going to be…one would make it to safety and one would not…or they would both make it to the mountains and their ordeal would continue. The point being they were looking ahead. The future held their interest. However, the end was quite different.

Yes, that was THE END! Though I found it very boring I couldn’t stop thinking about it…last night and this morning when I read my devotional.
I thought that there would be another outcome…was not disappointed in the one given because forgiveness was the message…but still, I’d watched this movie for more.

I watched it for a HUMAN conclusion…off the BAD GUY…but in this movie there really wasn’t a bad guy. There was life. Sometimes life is not what we expect or want…or sometimes we THINK our life will not be what we want or that it will be too hard…we look to the future and we think, “I will not be able to do that!”
And we are right…we can not do it…

We have to “Keep our mind on the present journey, enjoying His Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Him to open up the way before us.” (Paraphrased from Jesus Calling)

Time, it is flying by…but I do not have to worry about it (you do not have to worry about it)…we just have to WALK by FAITH and NOT by SIGHT!!! II Corinthians 5:7