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February/March Update

Hello again :)…still here…but WHERE are the Ayer’s now??

You always know when blogging has taken a back burner, that life has gotten extremely FULL, exciting, unpredictable…or all of the above.  This might be a terribly long update for many, but mostly I love to keep a record for our family journal.  Please do not feel obligated to read all the details of the last 6 weeks of my life, unless you need a little break from other things in your life :)!!

I realized recently how the Lord so graciously allows you to see a few steps at a time…If He would have laid out the PLAN before me in Korea less than a year ago what would occur in the past 6 months, I may have had a mental breakdown. However, He equips sufficiently one day at a time…sometimes one hour at a time…sometimes moment by moment. God carried me through this deployment, showing me much of His heart and my NEED for Him.  That part was awesome.  But, to be totally honest…now that it’s done, I am feeling the physical toll…I am tired.  But, SO THANKFUL that HE IS STRONGER.  I am thankful that He has become greater, I have become a little less.

About 6 weeks ago, Dave arrived back on American soil..PRAISE GOD!! I met him for 4 days in Colorado Springs…that was an emotional and precious reunion (and a sweet blessing…we had only planned that a few days prior!!) Then we flew home together for 4 quick days with the kiddos! It was so blessed.  Then Dave left for 10 days.  Then Dave came home for his 9 days of leave.  (Again–so blessed and smoother than what I could have hoped for with our family time.)  Then Dave left again.  We decided this was lame.  We have unbelievable FAMILY IN CHRIST who offered to house the Tribe in Colorado Springs!! We decided after much prayer that we would re-locate for awhile to be together…being re-united, un-united, re-united, un-united….was taking its toll on the little people, as well as the big people in this family.  We are still a little bit in awe for God’s provision with the Leininger Family!! They are totally amazing.

So after that decision, I spent the next two weeks prepping, planning, doing my logistical coordination 🙂 (If you’d like to see my lists, I’d be happy to share!) convincing my mom to fly with my (energetic) Evie…and my Dad to drive a mere 3 days with the other 4 kids and I!! Have I mentioned that I have an incredible family?!?!?

Here's to the BEST Nanna in the world!! (and to Evie with the cutest dimples!)

This was a crazy couple of weeks–in my brain and in life in general…we were still homeschooling, doctoring, and trying to get everything ready for the trip. (Probably not the prettiest 2 weeks of my parenting career, but God gave me the strength to accomplish all I needed to and provided my amazing family to help in countless ways in the whole process.)

Thanks to Erin, who is SUPER generous, thoughtful, and organized, I really only had to pack clothes and homeschooling. That was an amazing gift.

Evie...our big girl...a weekend with Nanna and a flight to CO!

Thanks to my Mom, I didn’t have a breakdown on the drive down to Colorado with my raspy voiced toddler YELLING, “OUT! OUT! OUT…All done, mommy!” after the first hour!! She was hilarious as she left with my mom for a weekend with Nanna.  She felt very important …and acted like such a big girl. She had her bag, her blanket, her carseat.  She got right in to Nanna’s car, while Caleb, Maija and I were all crying and she hugged me, kissed me and said, “Bye Bye, momma!!” She waved and waved like a little movie star out the window.  She is hilarious.  We missed her so much and talked about her through our whole drive, but I never once regretted that decision.

My sis, Dad and I got the car loaded and prepped on Friday night, then we put the kids in early Saturday morning to begin our 3 day journey.  We left our home at 5:30 am on Saturday and arrived in our hotel in Mountain Home, Idaho at 9:30 that night. Whoa.  That was a bit much for the first day, but the kids were amazing.  I will be honest…there was NO fussing that first day. Not one minute.  God was so gracious…thank you all who were praying us through.  I was probably the grumpiest out of anyone by the end of that day 🙂  The next two days were just as smooth.  We had so much fun reading, playing, doing things from my ‘box of fun’ for the car!!  (Maybe that’ll be another blog post some day-ideas for traveling with lots of kids 🙂  My Dad was a hero–doing the majority of the driving and the Lord blessed us with the MOST beautiful weather the entire trip!!

We even had a picnic one afternoon!! It was almost too good to be true!! We arrived safely and HAPPILY in Colorado early Monday evening to a wonderful welcoming team—DADDY!!, Nanna & Evie…The AWESOME Leininger Family–Erin, Lindsay, Joshua and Baby Ben!!  (Their daddy, Jeff,  is faithfully serving in Afghanistan right now–please keep him and their whole family in your prayers!)  It was a joyful reunion!

Here's to the BEST Boppa in the World!

We ate a delicious meal and then got to work unloading the car, unpacking, rearranging the basement and making it work for all the little people who needed to get to sleep!! WE LOVE IT HERE!! This space is perfect for us. I love the simplicity and coziness of it.  The 3 big kids are sharing a room and the 2 littles are finally sharing a room (mostly) successfully!! YEAH.  We have a big living room where Dave and I sleep…we have a couple couches…lots of floor space a big table…little kitchenette and a bathroom!! IT IS PERFECT!! We are cozy and we can clean up EVERYTHING in less than 30 minutes 🙂 What a dream!!  Another awesome provision is that Riah has already had 4 PT and OT appointments since we arrived!! Pretty incredible considering we’ve been on a waitlist since September for OT in WA :)…She is doing so awesome!! We are praising God!

My two favorite things are ONE– being with Dave.  I love being a family. I love being a team with him. I love NOT being a single mom (only geographically speaking).  I love seeing my kids’ hearts at peace again.  They are SO happy and so am I!!

And TWO–I LOVE living with Erin. Mostly because she LOVES Jesus and she is an awesome, faithful Mom.  I LOVE living in community.  This is the way it should be.  It’s encouraging, refining, great accountability, helpful, not lonely, and SO much fun to be with another like-minded mommy during the day.

I know many people reading this would think this would be total chaos at all times, but it’s actually very wonderful.  Of course, there are moments, but my kids LOVE being here. They love having other kids to play with.  THEY LOVE BABY BEN 🙂  We are so thankful for all of you who are praying for all 11 of us to live together victoriously. So far, God is answering that prayer above and beyond what I could have imagined!!

(As a side note, it’s funny when you realize what a different perspective you have that you would not have had 10 days ago…the night after we arrived, Maija started throwing up –of course!! Then Evie, then I got a virus…Caleb was already fighting a horrible sinus thing when we arrived, then Ella caught it.  Evie had her first healthy and kind day today…she’s been either lathargic or a beast since we arrived.  And Maija has had high fevers and has pretty much been in bed since we arrived…she has been SO sick. Today Riah woke up with a nasty cold too…I think we shared it with the boys as well. Evie had horrible rota-virus, then a cold…now an ear infection…:( poor thing (poor all of us too!) This is the only sweet part about the littles being sick…lots of snuggle time!

This afternoon, a policemen knocked on the door.  Our car window  was completely shattered by s

ome kids who were bored, testing out their b.b. gun on our driver’s side window. Nice.  Erin and I did great team work wrangling the kids, rearranging the garage and cleaning out all the shattered glass from my car right before dinner.  I kept thinking how that experience would have been if I were back in WA alone with all the kids.  He provides in awesome ways through one another.  Community is HIS plan.  We shouldn’t be doing so much on our own.  I’m just so thankful for a friend who is able to see His heart and open her home to allow us to be blessed in this way.)

In the midst of all of this over the past six weeks, and we totally see this is not coincidence, God has raised up a committed prayer Team to partner with our family as we follow Christ, as we seek Him and trust His plans this year and as we prepare to move our family to Soddo in the near future.  He has moved over 100 people to join us.  We have been totally humbled by this  and are so in awe of His grace and His outpouring through so many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.  WE also see that much of what we’ve experienced in these past weeks, was graced because of these faithful and powerful prayers. His timing was perfect.  We are seeing that God MUST be involved in every detail of every transition.  He needs to be in the preparation, in the process, in the details, in the journey.  I believe He allowed this little move as an eye opener, especially for me….as we head into a very big year of preparation, prayer and transitions.  It is a journey that can and will be joyful and God glorifying if our eyes are fixed on Jesus and if our hearts remain steadfast IN Him.  I love how He loves us enough to help us see what we need to see…and then He carries us, reveals His will, and gives us the strength we need to step ahead.  I’m so thankful for the cross.  I’m thankful that when our eyes turn too much to our own agenda…our hearts are overwhelmed or we try to do too much on our own strength, that He kindly and lovingly draws us back. He convicts.  He humbles, He forgives…so freely…and He breaks us to save us from our own self sufficiency.  He has done this for me in these last couple of weeks. I feel Him restoring and renewing so much of my spirit and loving me to who He wants me to be.  I could NOT have walked through these past 6 months, through all the unexpected, through all the life, without Him. Not without His love, not without His forgiveness.  I have been surrounded by His grace.

I will continue to update and share all of the Blessings and the GRACE of God in this special season we have been given here.  I will hopefully post some pictures as well.  Be blessed, sweet friends…rest in His sufficient Grace.  He loves you deeply…all of you. love, j


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