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There's airplane roar in my ears, a little duffel at my feet, and a Canadian customs form on my lap, and we are setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. . . but something about the lights of Portland drifting slowly away below us makes me nostalgic, and I can't wait to come home.

In the meantime though, our visas are Australian, and we have high hopes of beautiful, quiet beaches and a steady warmth that Oregon's been missing for too long.

It's not every day that your husband calls you on his way home from work and offhandedly mentions that the guy he's working for said he could use him in Australia. It's not every day that you reply to his "that'd be crazy" with "it wouldn't be that crazy." And it's certainly not every day that you suddenly find yourself ironing out tickets and visas and hotel stays.

We've been incredibly blessed. And what God gives He gives for a reason, so we are looking for His reasons along the way.

If the wifi is good, this blog will turn into a travelogue, so if you're apt to get jealous, feel free to stay away for two months. 🙂

Yeah, two months. Work and holiday in Australia for almost seven weeks, then a stop in New Zealand on the way home. I still can't believe it. I've quite wanted to go to Australia for a long time, but I've even more wanted to go to New Zealand.

All the same, two months is so long, so say a prayer for us as you think of it, and enjoy our Oregon if you happen to be in it because I'm sure there will be times when we'll be jealous of you while you're jealous of us.

But life is life, no matter where you are, so live it fully. It's beautiful, whether you're in Gervais, OR, or Armidale, NSW.

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James Christian Roth.

To some, his was a name well-known in Mennonite circles.
To some, he was the friendly owner of a little secondhand store in Woodburn.
To some, he was a dedicated pastor and a wise mentor.
To some, he was a well-beloved missionary and brother in Christ.
To some, he was a faithful friend.
To many, he was a kind and gentle man, one who took time for others, one who gave selflessly, one who was wise and understanding. A man who knew and loved God.

But to me, he was my grandpa. And I miss him. ...continue reading

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One year and one day ago, my dress was white, my feet were bare, and my lips were saying "I do" to the man who stole my heart. Eric and Chayli Baer, for a forever that lasts as long as earthly life does.

That was such a beautiful day. It didn't matter that it rained or that my dress was slightly stained. It didn't matter that the punch ran out or that we forgot to sign our marriage license and had to get reluctantly roped back inside after we'd already made our escape. We made the best of everything, and it wasn't hard at all.

How is it that time sometimes seems to steal that ability? You fall in love, and you tell yourself that you're never going to get used to loving him. You tell yourself you'll do everything you can to keep that brand-new swirl of exhilaration that is so unbelievable and so uncontainable. Every day you choose to see the best in him, and for a while you can't even believe you'll ever see the worst. ...continue reading

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We were reading in the last chapter of Revelation last night, and as I thought about heaven, I suddenly realized something. They're there. James, Orpha, Esther, Rhoda. . . they're all actually there.

And something about it just seemed unreal and unbelievable to me. I knew them here, in this world, in this life. And to think of them now living in a place I've only dreamed of. . . there is something about it that makes me ache to go home as well. ...continue reading

In moving, there comes a strange moment when you can’t remember which house you’re in, what you would see if you looked out the window, and where you would be if you stepped outside. . .

And then you realize you’re not actually in Gervais, you’re in Newberg, and you still have half a day of packing staring you in the face. But you smile anyway and reach for another fistful of Lucky Charms and another wrinkled sheet of wrapping paper, and you pull yet another mug from the cupboard and put it in yet another box and are so grateful that you have a husband and that he has brothers and that they are the ones who will carry all these heavy boxes out of your pretty little house for the last time.

I like moving. ...continue reading