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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Verbal vs. Written communication

Sometimes the written form of communication works, especially when emotions or money are invovled. I've had this thing at work bugging me, but due to a lack of face on face time I haven't been able to fully explain the situation to those that need to know. So, instead I wrote an email, I cringed as I wrote it because I usually perfer to talk to people face to face... but it just wasn't going to happen this time.

And you know what? I actually felt really good about, I was able to explain myself, and the best part was I had time to think it out, make it clear, and make my objective points. While sometimes, and maybe in most cases, face to face is better, I do believe at times written communication work best, than a clear line of communication can be opened, and hopefully a face to face conversation will have some good solid ground to work from.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

To the 20 or so who read this daily...

According to my feed stats about 20 people are subscribed to this place I call my blog. So for those 20 people I have a question (and hopefully more will answer)...

We are currently in the process of creating our missionary budget, or living and ministry bugets for when we take the plunge and move to Kraków. At the current numbers (preliminary) we have it estimated that we need either 100 people to donate $35 per month or 100 people to donate $26.12 per month (it's just how the math works...) depending on two different support scenarios we've been given by our sending church, which isn't being decided any time soon.

So, with that said. We're beginning to solicit the "for sure" answers, the ones who are fully committed in their hearts (most likely those who really already know us and our mission) to give for as long as we call Poland our home, up to $35 a month. Please don't leave it in the comments section, unless you don't care for others to see it, please email me, or leave a message on Facebook or some other semi-private means of communication. If you don't have that info, leave a comment and I'll send it over to you.

We just want to get a feeling, don't consider this the absolute "yes" just something for us to begin gauging our support base. After this we have the joy of communicating the message to many more people and we could use your prayers that we communicate the need for the Good News in Poland, and the need for training passionate hearted disciples to do the work in their home nation!

Thanks for prayerfully considering!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Living off faith

Sometimes I am in awe of the provision that God entrusts to our lives. I know that we could certainly do better in the area of how we manage our finances, I'm sure we could always invest a bit here, or save a bit there. In fact this month alone I identified $102 of "misc" spending. Nonetheless, I stand amazed at the fact that God has given us so much, that he's figured the numbers ahead of time and knows that we'll be taken care of. He's given us the wisdom to make the right choices and the faith to know that the money isn't ours.

It wasn't long after I began my walk with God that I learned the idea of tithing... it wasn't anything really spoken or asked of me, just something that over the first year I decided that if I was going to put my faith in God and "step by step" follow him, than I needed to put my money where my heart was. There have been a few months where I have neglected this conviction but for the most part I've been faithful to give my gross 10% to my home church right up front, than I do the bills.

About 10 months ago the Lord put on our hearts to give some offerings, above and beyond our tithe to some missionaries... well now that has grown to $90 a month. The past 4 months have been the most we've ever struggled financially, I have had to some very creative budgeting, prayer, and have more faith. We owed more than $500 in taxes, we have a $1000 hospital bill (due to our insurance changing 1 month before Emma's birth, previously we had no co-pay for hospital/maternity stay, than it all changed just before hand, giving us no time to save for it), and back in January/February my hours were cut by 25%, and we're still rebounding from that.

Yet, each pay period bills and needs are met, and God does little adjustments or shows us little ways of making things work. However, we know that this is not the end, we know that as we move forward in our plans to minister in Poland we'll be on the edge more often, so we are thankful for this season, and we are learning more and more what it means to live off of faith, to ask for help, and prayerfully state our needs. It's humbling and also encouraging in a very Jesus kind of way.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Getting back to me...

Yeah it's about time I've had some "myoptic" time... some time to focus on myself around here, yet let the world in on one person's inner thoughts, thoughts that most people fear to share, and that I have been fearing to share as well.

It's the fear that people who read this may not see the full picture of what I write, they may not know that I am actully quite a graceful and balanced person, but that in the short little paragraphs of my rants I sometimes sound much harsher than I really would be in a true-life situation. The other part of me is afraid of writing about some of the deeper darker things in my life, the thigns I've written about "long ago" that still very much affect me today. Fear that if I am still writing about them I'll be judged or treated differently since I'm still "struggling" all of which I know isn't really true. The fact is that I expierence God more intamatly when I am public about my struggles, yet the enemy has me paralyzed that I'll be either dismissed, judged, and unsupported.

But I know for a fact that if I want to expierence God's power I must confess it before humankind and God.

So now it sounds like I'm leading up to some big confession, I'm not, I'm only confessing that I'm still broken, still need healing, and that I want to have the ability to state that here, so in some reguard this is a confession of my fears, so that it may make the way for greater and more "myoptic" but healthy writing.

Thank you LORD.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jaded and bitter

There is so much talk "out there" on topics such as the emergent church, homosexuality in the church, drinking in the church, how to do church in today's culture, how not to do church in today's culture, and with all of this comes a lot of bitterness, finger pointing, religion, and legalism. I am tired of it, I'm tired of going from one blog to blog, news story to news story, reading about the things people see wrong in the church. Very seldom do I read about the good that the church is doing.

It is easy to be jaded, but much harder to take the higher road and speak the truth of Jesus gracefully and unconditionally. It's easy to see the things we disagree with, with the Christian community, our own church, and our fellow believers. It's much more hard for us to challenge people when we see hypocrisy, well for some it's easy, it's hard to do it in grace and encouragement that Jesus would have (Now leave, and sin no more, the woman at the well).

I believe we are obligated, as disciples, to encourage, with grace, the truth. The key is with grace, we seem to have forgotten what it means to give grace to people. We can not assume people will simply change their behavior, it takes graceful correction, reminding, retraining.

The key is learning to send and receive correction, grace, and to listen to what God puts in our heart for that moment, not simply regurgitate something we have been told.

Update: Ben (in many more words) describes exactly what I'm trying to say, see here...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Forward Motion

I'm going to get some forward motion, I am, I am, says I.

I have a number of things in regards to Poland to address, and I would love to get started, but I'm having trouble moving forward. Hopefully I can start things tomorrow once Alexis and I are back on our regular schedule. Polish lessons, mission trip prep, support letter (I'm so tired of asking for money), think of new ways to support ourselves, blog a bit about the tension of missions and being sent and the lack of perceived interest from people. Okay I think that's all for now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lots of pictures of Emma...

Finally did a mass upload, still have more to get from our doula who was with us on Emma's birthday. See the pictures here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just saying hi

Just a little mommy time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Isn't she just cute?


Since this is my blog and my daughter... I say of course.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Recap of the Emma story

Hey so here's the scoop on the whole laboring process.

Alexis was induced on the morning of the 8th (we had to wait due to so many others in the delivery process were in) she was suppose to be induced just after midnight, but instead it didn't happen until 8:00.

Laboring increased pretty normally, and her water broke around 1:30. Labor continued but contractions were not increasing to more than about 1 in 5 or 6 min... not cool when you want labor to progress. So they continued to up the potosin, but contractions just weren't doing much.

As it progressed Emma's heart rate kept dropping during the contractions, but would go back to normal right afterwards.

Alexis was so exhausted, and the delivery wasn't progressing very quickly, and in so much pain she requested an epidural (not what she had planned, but after that amount of time, I don't blame her). The epidural was administered, and it failed... only her left leg became numb (they think it was due to her spinal chord not being fully straight, and the epidural at the wrong point for her). Also, contractions were not getting close enough together for pushing to be effective and all of us were very tired (this is about at hour 20).

At around 3 in the morning, Alexis began to feel the need to push, with the nurse and midwife's instructions she did just that... for about 3 hours she did this and the baby just wasn't progressing.

Finally, after the heart rate dropped a bit too far for their comfort the midwife called in a doctor to assess things, within minutes the room was filled with nearly 15 people, a resuscitation team, a baby care team, a mother care team, plus since it was a shift change, backups for the that.

We had 2 and a half options, 1 vacuum, 1/2 forceps to increase the birth canal and help baby out (but the Dr. didn't like that idea for a few reasons), and the third, if the other two didn't work, emergency C-section... no one liked that.

So w/ the Dr's instructions on the vacuum process he told he had only three tries, and that if the third failed, we would have to go into a c-section.

Emma came out on the third pull! Praise JESUS.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Visitors welcome.

-TVisitors for our local friends are welcome after 4 today. just text me and I'll give you the room number.

Hello World from Emma

Emma Eileen Mielonen April 9th 2008. 6 lbs and 18 inches.

After a long and hard delivery we present Emma Eileen Mielonen. It will be a longer than expected recovery time for Alexis but all is well.

Slow going...

-TIt's been stressful and slow. Our friends had their baby about 5 hours ago. We are still waiting although we expect her in the next 2. Not the easiest birth, so please keep us in your prayers. It's a long story and I'm super tired as soon as we have her and spend our time together pictures and update will follow thanks for the prayers.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Stil waiting

Yep now the insanity is hitting us.

-TWe are in the hospital right now. Waiting for some inducing techniques to get going. Andrea and Matt (friends from church) are in a room a few doors down TOO waiting for their son to come! This is all very exciting. Alexis is napping right now. Thanks!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Cinderlla, about to enter my life.

I heard this song by Stephen Curtis Chapman this morning...

I can't really describe in words how I was feeling as I drove to work today, my last day before I become a father for the rest of my life. Than this song came on and I lost it... never heard it before... but wow, God's timing is impeccable.

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I'm sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It's been a long day and there's still work to do,
She's pulling at me saying "Dad I need you!
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited and I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone.

Verse 2:
She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancin'
"Oh please, daddy , please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew whoa
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone
She will be gone

Verse 3:
But she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowin' and tellin' us all they had planned
She says, "Dad the wedding's still six months away but I need to practice my dancin'
"Oh please, daddy , please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Still waiting for Emma

So, Emma still isn't with us. However, on the 8th we'll be holdering her in our hands, the night of the 7th Alexis is being induced (hopefully w/o the use of Potosin), and at some point on the 8th we'll have Emma with us :P

Just a quickie on that stuff.