Wednesday, July 09, 2014

"Though You Slay Me" (featuring John Piper)

One of my current favorites.  Shane and Shane have released this song on i tunes, but it's not this version :-(  I like the acoustics of this one.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Family Time

The New York and Missouri family came to Texas....


Fall 2013

Time with family is always well spent.


Saturday, May 17, 2014


Personalities are just oozing here....


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A storm came thru....

A couple of weeks ago we had a really bad storm come thru our area. I've been told it was a small tornado and I've been told it was possibly straight line winds.  Either way, it did some damage around here!  Many of our neighbors lost barns and workshops and damage to equipment (remember, we live out in the country).  But the worst of it was closer to the area where the boys go to school/Danny's work.

Here are some photos from the damage at our house and Danny's parents around the corner.

Our van was 1 of 3 vehicles that a tree took out.  Quite a few dents and scratches, but the worst was the windshield, but once replaced everything looked so much better.  We are still finding tiny shards of glass inside though....

The goats lost their barn.... the in-laws trampoline was up in the neighbors tree.  Lots of uprooted trees!

The bottom right is part of our roof. We didn't lose any animals (goats, chickens, ducks), we did, however GAIN a rooster!  haha!  I have put the word out and nobody has claimed him. Oh well.

Praise God that nobody was hurt and that it is all just "stuff" and the important stuff can be replaced... the rest of it we don't need.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Biblical Counseling

Since the fall of 2012, Danny & I have been pursuing training for Biblical Counseling.  It is discipleship.... just taking it up a notch.  As believers we should be prepared to give an answer/defense to anyone for the hope that is in us (I summed I Peter 3:15 there).  When anyone, especially a fellow believer is in need of encouragement or counsel.... we should be prepare to share the Gospel with them.  There are passages of Scripture that I am familiar with and can easily share with others, but over the years I haven't dug in to my Bible like I should have been doing to use the Bible to it's full extent.  There is always something to learn!!

We were confronted in Austria with issues that were just over our heads.  So we have spent the last 2 years attending conferences and reading, reading, reading some books that are so helpful in how to use the Gospel to BIBLICALLY counsel those that are seeking help to restore their marriage, family issues, addictions, etc.

God has allowed us to do this already while back in the US.  Some of it in a more formal setting and some just sitting across from friends as they pour out their struggles.  It is not easy to watch someone struggle, but it is a joy to have a front row seat as God restores what was broken because of sin....

Ephesians 1:10 and Colossians 1:20 --Christ will unite/restore/reconcile to Himself all things.  Oh what a day that will be!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Newsboys - We Believe (Live From Ocean Way)

Heard this on the radio a couple of weeks ago and have been singing it ever since.  Great song!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hi!  I'm Krista.... I used to blog ;-) I am hoping to get back into blogging. I guess I just held off for so long because I knew I didn't need to be writing yet.... I was overwhelmed with all that had happened and wasn't sure how to express it without losing sight of how God was using this to make me... us... our family... more like Him.... don't get me wrong... He is far from done!  However, I am not near as worried about it all as I was a year ago.

So when I last wrote....

Nathan was 8yrs. old (May 2012) and had just finished the 2nd grade in an all German speaking school in Austria.  He began the 3rd grade at a private school in Texas that fall.  The transition for him was nearly seamless.  We praise God for how Nate has done in school with all the changes.  

Micah was 5yrs. old (nearly 6) when we left and had been in a German speaking Kindergarten since he (well, both boys) were 3 yrs. old.  They were both nervous about transitioning to all English teaching.... but again, fantastic kids adapting to changes!

Grace was 2 1/2 and was saying little phrases in German, but hadn't really grasped the language.  Thankfully, we have purchased materials to ensure they won't loose their 2nd language.  She was still in diapers (wasn't going to train while packing up a house and moving!) and shy as can be with strangers.

Here I sit in 2014.....

Nathan is finishing the 4th grade and will be 10yrs. old next month!

Micah is finishing the 1st grade and is 7yrs. old!

Grace is 4yrs. old now and keeps me company at home!

Part of me just wants to "jump in" with blogging and pick up with "today".  But for some of you that follow us and may not be in constant touch with us... here is a brief... yes, I am going to actually attempt to keep it brief...update.  I'm gonna try a bullet point approach. 

  • I wrote in May 2012 about our upcoming furlough.  So catch up with it down below or just click here.
  • We flew into New York from Austria to see my family over the summer and also while in the area report to supporting churches.
  • We then set up house in Texas (a friend allowed us to live rent free in her one bedroom town house!) a couple of weeks before school began for the boys.  We traveled with Danny sometimes and just brought the school work along. 
  • By the end of 2012 we noticed our financial support was not increasing, but decreasing a bit (and we had actually acquired some new supporters!).  After the holidays we had to make the very difficult decision to resign as full time missionaries with the BBFI.  We didn't want to continue taking in support from churches knowing we weren't going to be able to return and live in Austria full time. A couple of churches kept supporting us for about 2 months more while we began to find work here in the US.
  • We were without a job for a few months.
  • We had the even more difficult task of telling our friends and our church family back in Austria.  That. was. hard.
  • We went thru some very discouraging times and were encouraged to find a new church family and wow---I can't begin to write down all that happened to bring us to where God used those events to show us His plan and the healing began with a church family that just loved us and started to help us heal.  We had been thru so many ups and downs over the last few months that we didn't realize how mentally and emotionally exhausted we were!
  • Danny interviewed for a job that he really had no experience in and yet, God had started equipping him years ago.  Danny is a self taught (via a great friend, Mitchell) technology minded person.  For the last year he has been the Technology Coordinator at a school district in our area!
  • We moved to the country because there was a house available for us to live in (woo-hoo for 3 bedrooms instead of 1 now!) and it happens to be next to Danny's family.  Though that has been another transition after nearly a decade of being just "us".... the kids are thoroughly enjoying being near cousins/playmates.
  • The boys changed schools--again.  And again, God has given them such a wonderful experience and granted them an easy transition (this Momma needed it too!).  They now go to school where Danny works as well!  They leave together in the morning and stay about an hour later after school with Danny and then come home together!
  • Danny & I are still very involved with our churches in Austria and are continuing to have Christian Football Camps there too.  We have a few churches that are continuing to support the ministry there and send their checks to a Clearing House that handles it for us.  If you want to be more involved or just get information about the football camps or our church plants just email us or comment on the blog with your email address.  
  • Last month (March 2014) we were able to spend Spring Break in Austria!!  We have missed everyone there so very much!  The kids were not able to go due to the expense primarily and we knew we were going to hit the ground running since we only had the week to get stuff done before Danny had to return to work.  We met with church leaders and the body, the football team Danny played with, friends from our old neighborhood, and also went thru our storage building to prepare our stuff to be shipped back to Texas.  We really only wanted the sentimental stuff to be shipped back.  We gave away half of everything there... that was harder than we thought it would be...but if you live there you probably have closet units and appliances, etc.  So friends helped spread the word and we were able to bless some people who wouldn't be able to buy these things on their own.  Our hearts were overwhelmed with the friendships that we were able to catch up with during our time there.  I feel blessed to be have called so many countries "home".
  • Danny & the kids have also started raising some chickens, guineas, goats, and the dad of a friend of ours gave them 4 ducks.  I play more of a "supporting" role in all this ;-)  I have bottled fed a baby goat though and that was not so bad.  The highlight is all the eggs we get. We currently get about 14-16 eggs a day and we split them with Danny's parents.  Now if the hens would stop using my front porch as their bathroom!  Danny is working on the fence around the pasture and hopes that will cut down on some of their roaming to my front door.... however, the grasshoppers were not as bad last year and the chickens were rather plump from all the snacking. ha!

There.... I believe I gave you the gist of it all.  For those who remember me writing that I was going to give a brief update... this WAS brief! HA!  Lots of other stuff happened that, for us, did some major overhaul on our walk with God and that, though painful at times, is becoming beautiful as He shapes us to be more like Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil,to give you a future and a hope."


Friday, December 07, 2012

Clear the Stage

It's been quite a while since I've blogged. Just a busy season of life for us. There have been funny things I could've posted and pointless things too.  Then my brother sent me a link to this song.  This is all I want to post for now.  Listen to it... over and over.  Let it sink in. Mull over it. Read the lyrics. Read your Bible. Let God work...

Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham

"I can sing all I want to....

and still get it wrong....

For worship is more than a song....

Anything that I put before God is an idol..."


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Decade

Ten years ago this week (May 2002) Danny & I were approved to be church planters in Austria. We were a couple of months away from celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary and were expecting our first child. I was finishing up teaching and Danny his internship at our home church. We were ready!

Looking over the last 10 years.... 

-we experienced heart-breaking sorrow as we were not able to meet our first baby.

-we saw a lot of the United States and were able to connect with lots of prayer and financial supporters.

-we were blessed with a healthy pregnancy and welcomed Nathaniel to our family May 20, 2004... nearly 2 years to the day of our first approval and first pregnancy.

-we made it to Austria 2 years after our approval with a 9 week old baby!

-we studied and can interact in, yet will be ever-learning, German.

-we integrated into our new culture and have made some wonderful friends.  *This is special because in 2002 I wrote down my requests to God in a notebook and my first was to hold a child of my own in my arms and that was answered before we left for Austria... then the next one was a good friend in Austria. God didn't give me just one good friend.... He blessed my life with many here. Not to mention the ones I left behind in the States that haven't forgotten me and are precious to me.

-we were able to be a part of our siblings weddings over the years.

-we were again blessed with a healthy pregnancy and welcomed Micah into our family October 12, 2006.

-we held many Bible studies in our homes and other locations thru out our city.

-we had our families visit a few times over these years.

-we learned how to deal with having a sick child (twice) in the hospital for a long time with no family close by to help.

-we watched God work on us and in spite of us so many times....

-we experienced the sorrow of losing grandparents while being overseas.

-we watched the friends God gave us start their own families and now are some of our kids' best friends.

-we experienced yet another pregnancy that would result in not holding our baby.  This was a very bitter sweet time.... we handled the loss this time better than the first one. We had thankfully, grown and matured in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  So accepting His will, though painful, was something I knew He would see us thru and was using this for His glory... which is the only reason any of us are here anyway.  But the time I spent alone  in my hospital room after surgery so that Danny could go home and care for our sons was tough.  That was a long night. Yet... this was a huge start to seeing some friends of ours open up to the Gospel.... all because they were watching us and how we responded (their words. not mine).

-we've assisted other churches in the area.

-we've been able to start 2 church plants on complete opposite sides of our city.

-we were surprised and blessed by the birth of our first daughter, Grace on February 15, 2010.

-we have received those sad and heart breaking phone calls telling us of a loved one that has passed away..... some that were complete shocks or friends going thru heart ache and the desire to be there and just hug their necks.

-we have (and will be in a few weeks again) hosted a Christian Football Camp and seen encouraging and amazing results from all the hard work put into such an outreach. Thank you to those coaches, players, and a former NFL player who took time out of their schedules to help us.

-we have only been away from Austria over the course of the last 8 years for only 8 months (broken up into 6-7 week visits during summers and a 3 month furlough in '07). We have mixed feelings about this furlough.... first, we must leave for a certain amount of time because of some regulations between Austria and the U.S. and second, to raise our financial support. We moved here with 1 baby and no real ministry costs while we learned the language.... now we have 3 kids, 2 church plants, and hosting football camps.... not to mention the exchange rate and the roller coaster ride it has taken us on over these 10 years. The other mixed feelings have to do with leaving behind the people we have come to call friends and family in Christ.

Please be in prayer for us as we prepare for this furlough. We are aware of how much we need this time to see family, connect with them and let our kids be loved on as well. We have some nieces and nephews that have joined the family and this Aunt is itching to kiss and cuddle some babies!

Pray for our boys especially... they are nervous about leaving their home. The only one they know... Austria. They are nervous about going to an English speaking school (which I don't know why... we only use English at home and they get plenty of German at their school)... must be the "unknown" that gets them concerned. I remind them I grew up doing this too and I turned out just fine... right?!?!



Monday, May 07, 2012

Grace and her dolls

I'm not much of a liker of the color pink, but Grace, though only 2 yrs. old has vocalized her like for the color in her toys and in her clothes. So we comply (usually).  After having 2 boys and all the cars, sports equipment, bad guy-good guy pretend games.... it's been quite refreshing to see this other side to raising a child. Gracie played with most of her brothers baby toys till she got her first baby doll from Grammy when she had her 1st birthday. Since then we can not go into a store and walk past the toy section without her asking "whersh da baby's?" We usually have to take a baby doll in the car to either pick up the boys from school, driving to our meetings on Sunday, or during bath time (it is safe to assume she sleeps with every. single. doll. she owns). The interesting thing about Gracie & her dolls is that she is not their mommy.  If they fall (read: she chunks them across the room and squeals in delight. Yes, sounds terrible but remember she has 2 brothers and they have toys that are supposed to be thrown and she's usually trying to fit in... using her own toys. Feel better about that now?) and get "hurt" she says, "ohhhh nooo... baby fall. Ish okay." and then brings them to me for a "cuddle". 

Our boys bring us so much joy and laughter....Gracie is no exception. We are blessed and I'm learning to like all this pink stuff.