Monday, April 28, 2014

Life's Richness

Ana and I are reading Anne of Avonlea before bedtime.  A quote in it struck me the other day.

 "We make our own lives wherever we are...  They are broad or narrow according to what we put into them, not what we get out.  Life is rich and full here...everywhere...if we can only learn how to open our whole hearts to its richness and fullness."  

I hope I can be one who sees the richness of life wherever God places me.  Hooray for Indy--not the most diverse place, but a place with many opportunities to serve, be of use, and bring glory to God's name.

Unexpected Opportunities to Be of Use!

Today (Saturday)...

Matt took Ana to a bicycle rodeo by himself.  They stayed for about an hour (I drove them of course!).  Ana was thrilled with her new bike helmet and I was so happy that Matt could do something independently!

A large church called Crossroads came through the neighborhood and gave large planter boxes out.  They also landscaped a couple of houses.  We joined in on some of the shoveling.  What a blessing to this neighborhood to have fresh vegetables right outside your back door!

We went over to visit our elderly neighbor and discovered it was his eightieth birthday--so we quickly baked a cake, stuck a candle in it, and went and sang.  He has no children--only a nephew that occasionally stops by to help.

Then Ana wanted to go to a birthday party because no one else from her class was going and the boy was very sad.  Although I was apprehensive because I knew not much English is spoken, I wanted to encourage this kind behavior Ana displayed--so we went.  We enjoyed the best carne asada I've had outside of Honduras and made new friends.  She missed out on the pinata and cake because after two and a half hours they still hadn't gotten that far :)  BUT I am so glad we went and I'm thrilled that my child fits in with all peoples! (Note to self--next time attending a hispanic birthday party--dress up!!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Moving Along...

We have an appointment to meet with the employment specialists at Easter Seals crossroads next week.  I have also spoken with someone trying to set up the driver's training.  I like to see progress even if it is only a little!  I'm a hurry up and get there type person--blazing a trail--so this experience with the struggles and the slow pace have been good for me!  We are moving--not at the pace I would set, but we're moving!

The Easter Dress

 Ana's Easter dress turned out really well.  Although it took a long time to make--mostly because of details that I added--I think it was worth it.  The fabric was purchased in Singapore from a dress maker's shop.  It is a beautiful brushed cotton.  I've made this dress before--so I made it a little big so that she could wear it longer :)  Hooray for sewing!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dog After Running...

 You would think I had run a marathon...nope just around the park!  That's enough to wear her out!
Bassets: very fast for short distances then morph into a floor mat for the next hour or so.  Next time I'm bringing Matt.  I'll run her for a while and then take off by myself!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Although I don't feel particularly strong...I know God has been working on building me up.  Thanks God for getting me ready for the next thing.  (I think it is going to be teaching an upper elementary grade--something I haven't done before!)

I'm thankful today for:
-a new heating/cooling system put quickly, efficiently, and cheaply!
-I have a summer job :)
-I have a fall job :)
-Matt has been referred for driver's training and employment assistance--both have moved along quickly!
-We have therapists that are working hard to get Matt more sessions--keep praying for the insurance to grant more OT and Speech therapy.
-I had a really fantastic time singing with the worship team on Sunday.  We are starting to be able to be more involved!
-China made his school soccer team (they play about 4 games!)  It has helped with his behavior and attitude!
-No snow in the forecast!  Believe it or not we had a ground covering on Monday!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Directing God

When we decided to come back to the States to work through Mitike's issues, we gave up all our plans.  We had planned to stay overseas for the rest of our working years.  We had planned to raise our kids in an international environment.  We had planned to keep on working with international students.  We had planned to travel.  

What I'm realizing now is that while all our plans were good, they weren't necessarily God's plans!  It has been interesting to be in a "planless" state for the past few months.  This opens you up more to hear and see what God wants for you.  

Matt has qualified for the state/federal assistance in getting him back to work.  Within the next couple weeks he will probably begin his driver's training/testing.  He's very excited to drive again!!  You can pray along with us that he finds where God is wanting him to work.

I am hoping to take an elementary job at Shepherd (full time).  As Matt has continued to progress we are starting to be able to participate in church more often, BUT we are open and seeking God's plans!

Thanks for praying with us! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


No news on the insurance front.  I did pass along the number to the therapists--who had NEVER done a grievance/appeal!  Please keep praying.

We were blessed to have a neighbor that will replace our furnace and air conditioner AT COST.  We have been so humbled by the many good acts of people around us.

The place where I'm working has cut my class for next year.  I have applied for one of the open elementary jobs, but really would appreciate prayer for direction!

Today during "popcorn prayer" with our two four year old classes, the little, mischievous boy sitting next to me (with all sincerity) said, "Thank you for Mrs. Eiler!  It was ENCOURAGING to hear one of my most challenging kids say thanks (for all those sweat and tears!)  I am a very small part of Shepherd, but today the "little" thing of teaching has been shown to me to be enough.  Making a difference for a few is still a difference!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teacher Appreciation

I'm sure teachers all over the world get flowers for teacher appreciation day.  What makes these dear to my heart is the fact that this family doesn't always have money to buy gas BUT they did buy me some lovely roses.  Sacrificial gifts are the most meaningful!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Break

I know Spring Break is supposed to be a lazy affair, but I couldn't stand to let my free time go to waste.
So, we...
1. sanded, stained, and polyurethaned the two bathroom doors.
2. painted the bathroom a beautiful blue.
3. went to our favorite store Menards and got lots of odds and ends. (It SNOWED while we were there!!)
4. planted some vegetables to get a head start on our garden.
5. cleaned up the backyard.  Mei Mei loves trash and seems to find every piece that blows into our yard.
6. went to the zoo where many of the animals seemingly posed for pictures!

7. almost finished Ana's Easter dress!
8. participated in the neighborhood clean up.  I got put in charge of an alley.  I went to pick up some cardboard and couldn't lift it.  I called a guy over to help and we discovered a dead dog wrapped in the boxes.  There were other sad scenes where there had been evictions and all the food/toys/clothes were just thrown out.  BUT, we made some new friends and got pizza for lunch.  AND, our alley looks 10x better!
9.  We did some fun things too like watching Frozen and Catching Fire.
10.  We did some not so fun things like call the insurance :(

I think everybody will agree we are ready for school to start again!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I've been working on the wood in the bathroom.  At some point in it's past it was painted a pale pink.  We thought (so much for thinking) since it was the only coat of paint on the wood that we could get it back to its original beauty.  After months of scraping I did manage to get it to this:

But, there is paint residue that resists the stain.  (I went through almost two packs of 60 grit sandpaper--it gummed it up so badly!)  So...we've decided to paint it white as we did the window.

The doors are breathtakingly gorgeous--now (as Matt rolls his eyes!!!) I want to redo every door in the house!!  (at about a week a door that will take us a long while!!)  There is something that is so beautiful about aged wood.  It has depth and character.  It has bumps, gouges, and ruts, BUT time has mellowed and smoothed it.

As I've scraped, sanded, and painted I've had a lot of thinking time.  Here's what God has been showing me. If you want a smooth, professional finish, you've got to put in LOTS of time scraping and sanding.  The events He allows in our lives polish and perfect us--get us ready to be "finished."  One thing I've learned through the past two years is that our circumstances aren't punishments--although the sanding and scraping can feel that way--they are God's way of showing us what needs some work.  Lately, before I say, "Why, me?" or "Do I really need this, God?"  I instead ask, "Show me what needs some scraping--what needs chipped away?"  If my door can look this good, think how nice I'll look when God gets done with me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

If you see this post...

...please pray for favor with the insurance.  They aren't giving Matt any more therapy sessions--so I will be making some calls tomorrow.  We've been told that the first six months after a stroke are critical--so we'd really like to continue on with therapy. (He's making GREAT progress!!) It is almost unbelievable to me that a man that still has trouble moving his arm and talking could be told he has no more need for therapy.

We had a guy come in to tune up our heater today.  He opened it up and it was ALL rust.  It's obviously been leaking internally for a while.  (Praise God it made it through this winter!!)  Since it is 12 years old, we're looking at replacing it.  We could use some wisdom on this too!

Thanks friends for praying with us!!