Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Flying By

I cannot believe it has been a month since I have written here.  All I can think is where has the time gone?  So here is a preview of the things that I am going to try and catch up on.

May 16th....we cannot believe it but it has been two years since David walked into that little office in Urumqi, Ch*na and we were officially his mom and dad.  This little boy has changed so much, as have we.  I am so thankful to have him as our son!  More to come with pics hopefully.

May 17th...we celebrated our first National Day in Norway.  These Norwegians love their country, that is for sure!  It was a lot of fun and will be looking forward to their 200th year next May.

May 20-21...Farmor and Farfar were able to get tickets to Liseberg for the whole family.  This included all day passes for all the rides.  We were able to get to Gothenburg and had a wonderful day with cousins, Aunt and Uncle, and grandparents.

May 25th...a years since we had arrived home with David.

June 2nd...David is starting pre-school and I am working up to letting him be alone there.  He is doing beautifully and although this is hard at times, I believe will be really good for him.

June 7th...We had Andreas' 20 year high school reunion.  Can it really be that we have been out of high school that long?  Although I am thoroughly was not the best of times for me.  However, it was really good to meet up with his old friends and see what was going on in everyones lives.

June 8th... a years since Morfar died and our Board meeting for the non-profit in Sweden.  As we remembered the wonderful man that Morfar was and how much he added to all our lives, we dove head first into our desire to help with Nepal.  It was a great meeting that really showed us that the Board cares about what is going on.

We would really appreciate your prayers right now with Nepal.  We sent money for their monthly expenses about two weeks ago and they still have not received them in Nepal.  Please pray that we can work this out with the bank they need the money in Nepal!

Hopefully, I will get time to put some pics up and share with you how God has sustained us through all of this.  I am also working on getting my CV together and finding a job.  That is another one that could use a lot of prayer.

Praying for so many of you.  If you have a prayer request, please feel free to share it.  Would really love to pray for those who have always lurked.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

Well, it was American mother's day on Sunday...and yes, I am American and I am a mother.  However, my husband had a fever and sore throat and it isn't mother's day in Norway so the kids had no idea.  Even so, I am very thankful and blessed to be the mother to my beautiful boys!


One exciting thing that happened was since my husband couldn't get out of bed, I did church for him.  (never thought that would happen)  No, I didn't preach, but we had a family table discussion on the Spirit of Adoption, being a  part of God's family...Jesus our brother and God our Father.  We talked about our image of God and how that was formed, what it actually means to be a family in church, and what that means in real life.  It was good, made me think at least, and pray more.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Is the Lord Calling?

I know...these post seem fewer and fewer and my time is less and less to make them, but I have a quick one!

I have received emails about a disruption in the States of a 12 year old Asian boy.  He needs a family NOW, so he can have permanency and healing.  I cannot give details and of course no pics, but if you are interested in all that please contact Lynne at

(just for the record....there is nothing wrong with this child, disruptions happen for many reason...please do not be hasty to judge or discount this child or the parents disrupting, but in all things pray the peace and grace of God abounds!)


Sunday, April 14, 2013 turn!

Today was David's 5th birthday.  He has been asking for about 8 months when it was his turn to get a birthday.  He doesn't remember his 4th birthday or at least didn't understand enough to know it was a birthday.  

We picked David up in China a little after his third birthday.  He had received two major surgeries for his cleft lip/palate and could not manipulate his upper lip very well as well as his palate.  Even though he understood Mandarin, he could not speak it. As a three year old he had to get use to new food, new people, new country, show his independence, learn two languages and a million other things.  It is not surprising that when he turned 4, he still did not understand what a birthday was all about.  

He really started noticing that people had birthdays as he saw some of his friends receive gifts from us and have parties.  Then, last September, when Samuel had his 8th birthday the questions started to come.  ''When do I get a birthday?''  So it was then that the countdown began and this weekend came to fruition.  

Now David is, in many ways, the exact opposite to Samuel.  Where Samuel would eat up the attention, David struggled with being the center of it.  Hence the picture below when it was time for him to open presents...he hid.

I finally got him to take a picture with me and the gifts, but he still had a hard time looking at the camera and keeping his had off of his face.

However, my little shy guy loved having a birthday.  We celebrated with Farmor/far yesterday and had several cakes made for him from the church today....he really struggled with them singing to him.   So as his shyness grows stronger we are working out ways to help him enjoy the day and still hide in our chests when he needs too.  He will also have a kids birthday party later this week (5 is a big deal!)

So would you please leave a message saying happy birthday to my wonderful 5 year old.  I think he would appreciate it over the computer much more than singing to him in person.


Monday, April 08, 2013


As I finally get back on the computer, I wanted to share about family.  

As we all know, our family has been grown by adoption.  The Lord has blessed us with two wonderful boys who drive us crazy, keep us on our toes, and giggle and scream as much as possible.  It is amazing to me when I am reminded that our family doesn't look like others.  To me, it all looks just as it should.  

Those reminders come in the form of odd looks every once in a while, someone asking if these are my children, or one of the kids realizing something new about themselves or our family.  They don't necessarily take me off guard, but make me stop and think for a moment.  Normally, they make me smile as I can look at the person giving me that odd look and say an absolute ''YES'' these are my children, or explain how they are wonderfully made and came to be my children.  

But I have to admit that the times I actually get choked up about it is when I look at family pics and see just how much my children are loved by so many.  I was reminded again at Easter when we spent some time with Farmor and Farfar, Aunt and Uncle Kjernald and the cousins.  

The Lord has placed he does place the lonely in families.  

And I noticed Farmor introducing her grandchildren to someone...''YES...these are my grandkids''.  Two boys from two different lands with two different stories are now family, brothers, children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews.

This leads me to think of the family that God has made with ''brothers'' and ''sisters'' all around the world, from all walks of life.

Andreas told me that when we were in Nepal and the children were calling us Brother Eas and Sister La La, it was the first time that he actually felt like it meant something.  So often it is said in Christian circles, but do we really heed it?  Would we really treat that other person as family?

To be honest, I can think of many times that I have not, nor even considered doing so.  But if we are really looking at what Jesus has said and acted out, they are family.  Just as he sees me as a daughter of God and sister to Jesus...not to mention how hard that one is to grasp at times.

Jesus blessed us by placing two boys who don't ''look'' like us in our be full sons.  Not just some children that I take care of.  God also allowed me, someone I am sure doesn't ''look'' like him many days, to be a full daughter in His family.  Not just someone to take care of or put up with.  To Him it looks just as it should.




Three words that we hear quite a lot in Christian circles...but take another look.  Dig deeper, see what it means to you, see what it means to Jesus.  I know every time I revisit these words, and meet new people and listen to Jesus...they seem to take on new meaning.  Not a full new meaning, but building blocks that just keep stacking.

Just as my two amazing boys are loved by many and keep growing.


Monday, April 01, 2013

Glad Påsk!

First of all Glad Påsk or Happy Easter...and it really is HAPPY and JOYOUS!  

To think that the God of the universe loved us enough to come, walk, be, and experience normal life with us, to die an excruciating death...not because he couldn't get himself off that cross...but because he wanted to give us salvation.  Then to rise again and be ALIVE.  No folks our God is not dead, but fully alive and alert and wants to be involved in every detail of our lives.

Now that is HOPE!

That is our SALVATION!

That is a God who truly wants a relationship with US! (which still blows my mind)


He didn't stop there.  He continues to redeem and renew.  How much more I see that as so many once-orphaned children are placed in families, just as HE has room in his family for us. WE actually become sons and daughters of GOD!

As we have been placed in his family, can you help some that need to be placed in a family?
If you would like to help redeem some precious orphans that are waiting to be a part of a summer host program please link over too  Here you can learn how to be a summer host family and change the lives of one or more orphans forever (unfortunately, I believe this is only available in the United States)!

I pray that your Easter included this amazing, loving, and active God... not only included, but that He was at the center of it.  


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yep, It's True!

It is true that I turned 39 today.  The cool thing about today is that we also have two other people in our church that have the same birthday.  So I threw a big birthday dinner for the birthday three.

One of the things that I have realized over the years is that I really like to cook and try new things.  Tonight was no exception.  I had a venison leg in my freezer (thanks to some hunting friends in Alingsås) and so I roasted that in the crock pot.  Then I made garlic mash potatoes and to top it all off, I tried my hand at ratatouille. Yes, the ratatouille recipe from the Disney movie about the rat.

Amazingly enough it looked and tasted great.  My eight year old (who hates vegetables) even came back for seconds!  I would make it again for that reason alone.  It wasn't that hard (because I have a machine that can cut the slices and then you just put it together.  Not to mention it made from fresh vegetables and herbs that are really good for you.  I have heard a lot of people give different ideas for how to eat it and even for breakfast with an egg on top...Sounds good to me.

This was before it was cooked, sorry no pics of after...but it looked almost the same.  

To top it all off, I made a carrot cake in the double American layer style...after all it was a birthday party! (sorry no pic).  So dinner was a success and really fun to, win.

It was a lot of fun to have the Tromborgs and the Kopperuds here and to celebrate with them.  Thanks for making the day special!  So to all of us...Gratulerar, Happy Birthday and/or Grattis.

Jostein, Me, Lars Kristian...I think Lars was a little embarrassed by us ''old'' people!

Kaisa, Solrun, Me
You can see the half eaten cake in the middle of the table.  I have really enjoyed getting to know and becoming a part of this church family.  Thankful for these families!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That Yucky Feeling

I adore my boys.  They make me laugh, cry, and all the emotions in between.  Then, there are the times that they absolutely drive me mad.  I think we all know what I am talking about.  

Now in my 7 1/2 years of motherhood, I have had to face just how selfish I am, how to deal with things that I fear, how to deal with LOTS of noise (my boys are really loud), how to answer questions that I simple don't know the answers too, how to come up with appropriate and creative consequences (whether good or bad), and how to deal with my boys growing up faster than I can say boo!

Through all of this there is one thing that will get me annoyed in an instant (yet it is a perfectly normal part of siblings and I am thrilled that the boys are actually bonded and at this point), it is when the boys start picking at each other on purpose and fighting.  Before we left for Nepal they were doing really well.  We had been working on attitude and accepting the other person (with all their personality) and learning to love them through it (not an easy lesson for an adult...).  Our goal is always to build each other up and not tear each other apart.  Even while we were gone Andreas' parent said they did wonderfully.  Sure there were times that they bickered a little, but overall they were really good to each other.

Then enters mom and dad again!

David, (who is our over-sensitive one), became extra over-sensitive. And Samuel, (our independent, wants to always be in charge one), became extra annoyed when things didn't go exactly how he wanted.  I was not surprised by this.  We had never left the boys for that long before (it was really hard on me and I missed them greatly). However, when all those emotions are flying around they tend to crash into one another and create a yucky feeling in the house.  There was constant bickering between the two boys.  They were fighting for silly or no reason at all.

About a week ago I drew the LINE!  NO MORE!

I really can't stand it when your home becomes one of negativity and fights.  It is no longer a place of calm family fun...(well not so calm with my boys...but fun).  So I prayed, HELP!  I sat down with the boys and talked about what was happening and what needed to happen and that there would be NO tolerance for tearing each other down.  We talked about how people tore each other down in the Bible and how Jesus wants us to act and react to one another.

And I have PRAYED! And we PRAYED!

Now I can't say that we are at 100% perfect performance, but I can say that things are getting better.  The home feels a little more calm (the emotions have also calmed to an extent).  But I also see Sam bringing home attitudes and tones from school that I don't like and David picks them up way too quickly.

Is anyone out there in the same position?
Does anyone have ideas on the way they deal with it?

Just wondering as we try to navigate these beautiful boys through life.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Making a New Normal

We have been home for about a week now from N*pal and working on remembering all the details. Sometimes it is so easy just to fall back into the old patterns and routines...but that is not what we want.  We go through the pictures and see the faces that are so easy to love and remember why we made the journey in the first place.  We want to make a new normal in this family, by adding all these beautiful people into our daily discussions, prayers and thoughts.  We want them to effect the way we see the world, the way we spend our money, and the way we see others.  

One of the things that we talked about with the Director (daddy, KB) of the home was the religious climate that is in N*pal.  KB has letters from Hindus that state they would be willing to support them and give them money if they would renounce their belief in Jesus.  He has lost supporters over the fact that he teaches and lives Christianity with the children in a Hindu/Bhuddist country.  Yet, his faith is strong and they are thriving even without the money that we Westerners believe that we ''need''.  

Kathmandu is a rather large city.  It is really hard to get a true picture of it while you are in it, but easier from higher view points.  I have not met one person that lives in Kathmandu that actually says they like it there.  Don't get me wrong...they all love their country and think it is amazingly beautiful, but they are not referring to Kathmandu when they are speaking like that.  It is a cacophony of smells which include incense, sewage, car fumes, pollution, trash, cows, dust and sweat.  It is a cacophony of  sounds which include horns, chanting, bells, loud music, normal city noise, cows, monkeys, dogs, etc.  It is a cacophony of sights (which include a lot of what I have already mentioned) and temples both Bhuddist and Hindu, colorful buildings, amazingly beautiful people, trash, trash, and more trash,  and spectacular mountains, etc.  I think you maybe starting to get the picture.

This is known as the Swayambhunath or more commonly known as The Monkey Temple (because there happens to be monkeys all around). It is a Bhuddist stupa...with a small Hindu temple on the side.  (notice the dark spindle looking objects...that will be explained later)
We visited some of the sites in Kathmandu that Andreas had not seen before.  It is amazing to watch people of different beliefs and how they (me included) have a sort of sub-culture.  For those of us who are Christians the Hindu and Bhuddist beliefs are straight out of the Old Testament.

The statue of Bhudda at the stupa.  This is the N*pali Bhudda...not the laughing Bhudda that you find in other parts of Asia.  The Bhudda was born in N*pal...interestingly enough he stated that he was not a god and did not want to be worshipped...guess no one listened.  

This is a stone...that some people were worshipping like a god.  

This is a bell, when you go to the temple you ring it...some say to make sure the god is awake, others say to seal the deal (so to speak).  

This is another part of the Monkey Temple, the flags are Bhuddist prayer flags.  Here is where I will explain the spindle objects in the picture above.  Each flag has a prescribed written prayer or prayers on them.  When the wind blows it is suppose to take the prayers with it.  The spindles objects are actually prayer wheels.  They hold paper in them that has the same prayers on them as the flags.  The people walk around clockwise and spin the wheels to release the prayers.  As they walk around they also carry beads to count how many times they spin the wheels...I think they are suppose to do it a prescribed amount of time.  Then there are huge wheels that they also walk around and spin.  

This is a stone, carved like a little man and dressed that was being worshipped.  I'll be gave me the creeps.  

This is the rat god, I really don't know what he is suppose to do...but he is obviously popular.  

This is the Pashupatinath Temple.  Considered to be the most holy temple for the Hindu god Shiva. It is on the Bagmati river (which the people say is the most polluted river in the world), and it is where most of the funerals are held in Kathmandu.  The smoke you see is from the cremation of the deceased.  The ashes are then put into the river.  It is not a site for the light of heart and makes me sad every time I am there.  Yes, there is a boy in the river collecting the firewood that did not totally burn up.  On the other side of the river was a girl wading in to try to find valuables from the bodies...every part of me wanted to scream...get out of the water...but I refrained. 
These scenes echo all over Kathmandu with small temples everywhere, or a rocks for that matter.  It really does make you think about belief.  Hindus believe in anywhere from 35,000 to 38,000 gods.  I personally think it would be exhausting trying to please all of them.

So now maybe you have a little better picture of the people that we have long loved and the culture that is almost totally opposite to our own.  We will be planning within the next two weeks and working on getting the non-profit registered in Sweden.  We have a non-profit in the States that will allow us to use them as an umbrella until we can see if we need to begin our own there and in Norway we can receive donations through our church. We also have paypal.

If you are interested in joining us on this adventure please let us know.  You can contact us through this blog or the   We will be getting specific needs out soon.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back Home

We are home from Nepal and in total humility and thankfulness to God for what has been accomplished.  I will write more as the days go by and my jet lag wears off.  However, a few highlights are shown with pictures below and we are now going to be raising money to support the children's home that we are partnering with.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions or give ideas.  

The adventure that God has sent us on is to build Nepali families, not house orphans and we have begun with partnering with a family that has been running a home for 14 years.  In the next three years they will be transitioning from 30 kids to families of 10 kids each.  The Lord has been preparing this one family for this and they are excited to transition.  Our hope is to have these families all over Nepal one day.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited, terrified, overwhelmed and thankful I am for this adventure and our God who is leading it.  

New friends that have already built their family in the way that we want to see continue in Nepal.  We were so glad to make these new friends (through college friends).  This couple have amazing testimonies that bring glory to Jesus.  

This little girl was so thankful that we were there, she gave me her only barrets!  Not so easy to hold back the tears when children who have next to nothing are willing to give it away because of thankfulness.  

Map of Nepal on side of building. 

What a beautiful people the Nepalis' are.  

The women are the laborers most of the time. 

Our blessings!
More to come...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Past, the Now, the Future

At the beginning of 1996 if you had told me in the last semester of my college education that I would meet a very handsome Swede, fall in love and marry him just a year and a half later, while being apart for 9 months of that time, I would have laughed in your face.  I was ready to graduate, go to Jamaica as a missionary and then at the end of 6 months come home and be independent!  Thank God that He has a sense of humor and a better sense of direction for my life.  

As we walked towards our 16th anniversary, I am floored by all that has transpired.  We did marry after whirlwind dating and being oceans apart.  He moved to the States, I worked with juvies.  Then we moved back to Kentucky a year later and started over.  He became a fireman (dream come true) and me a nanny (not imagined, but really loved the family and those kids not to mention that that would be my hands on introduction to adoption).  Then 3 years later we decided to pick up and move to Sweden (we really were a bit crazy).  We had to try out both countries!  During the year and a half that I lived in Sweden we were suppose to try to start a family.  We had been married for 4 going on 5 years and were ready to have children...I know, I know...something about ''the best laid plans of mice and men...''.  It was during that time in Sweden that I started to have strong suspicions that I couldn't get pregnant.  Between that realization and culture shock (don't underestimate that), I headed down the path of depression.  

We ended up moving back to the States in January of 2003 so that Andreas could go to school and become a pastor (was called in Nov. of 2001).  The education in Sweden was just too liberal (not too shocking).  As we continued on, I slipped little by little into depression.  I was nannying again for that same family which really helped, but wanted children of my own.  

Now being a social worker I had always thought about adopting, but wanted to have a child first....something about how cool it would be to feel a life growing inside of me.  In the Spring of 2004 we had some test done and confirmed that it was going to be difficult to get pregnant, but of course the doctor wanted us to try.  We chose to try a round of Clomed and then if that didn't work we would go the adoption route next.  Not only did it reek havoc on my body it sent me into the farthest depression I had ever been in.  

By this time we had moved from Kentucky to Mississippi and at the deepest point of my depression (September 2004), halfway around the world God was putting together the pieces of our puzzle...Samuel was born.  As the Clomed left my body the depression lifted, but left me with a lifetime of hormone problems since. (which by the way, at this point I need to state that my husband is the most patient and wonderful men in the world ;).   

On January 15, 2005 our official adoption journey began with the first meeting for the homestudy. I was actually working for an adoption agency doing homestudies, post placement visits and working with birthmothers...which I loved.  Andreas and I were drawn to international adoption because we were an international family.  After a lot of prayer we chose Nep*l to adopt from.  We went through the same emotions that so many are going through right now.  What would happen, where was our child, was he or she okay, would we be good parents....why is it taking so long, why is it taking so long, why is it taking so long (little did I know that it was really quick for international adoption).  However, when you can't see the end it drags on and on and on.  By May we had our referral and by August 2005, Andreas traveled alone to meet our son and sign papers. On Dec. 21, we were called and told we could go get Samuel (we were in Nep*l on Dec. 28th)!  We came back onto the US on January 14, 2006.  If you are keep track of those dates, from start to landing was exactly one year!  Thank you Jesus, I truly don't know if I could have handled more.  

From there I moved up the adoption latter to be International Adoption Director and Andreas continued his degree to become a pastor.  In May of 2007 he was finished and in Sept. 2007 the Lord had a church waiting for us in Alingsås, Sweden.  

So we moved...back to Sweden and a whole new adventure. In the beginning of 2008 we began the process to adopt again.  We thought that Nep*l would be the place, but God had another child for us in Ch*na.  It took 3 1/2 years, 2 other countries, a lot of heartache and a lot of God working to get to Ch*na. In May of 2011 we picked up our youngest son, David.  At this point Sam was 6 and David was 3.  

This was the boys and daddy this past summer.  We were on a gorgeous island off the coast of Sweden watching a sailing race and exploring everything we could.

During those 3 1/2 years I realized how blessed we were to receive Samuel in a year.  Of course there is a million more details that only Andreas and good friends know, but there was a definite ''red thread'' through it all.  God took care of details and moved us around tragedy to get to our boys.  He laid a strong calling on my husband to be an amazing daddy to our boys, an incredible husband to me and a strong pastor for others.

One of the red threads that I had not mentioned is that after we adopted Samuel I had a strong calling to help the other orphans that were still in Nep*l.  In  April 2007 I worked with Nep*l and the adoption agency that I was a part of and set up an adoption program.  In May 2007 Nep*l decided to close it's doors to adoption to restructure it.  In 2009 it reopened and got at least one child home before other countries closed it again because of corruption (maybe God had more for us to do in Nep*l).  There was still a strong nagging urge (thanks for giving me that God) to do more for the treasures of Nep*l.  During the years Andreas took up that urge and has prompted us forward when I struggled with it.  In 2011 we decide that in February 2013 we would take our first trip to establish a children's home in Nep*l.  

Guess what folks...tomorrow is the day we fly out to Nep*l to continue the work that the Lord has literally put in our laps.  There are a million details that have come together and continue to show us the path we are to take.  

We do NOT take this lightly.
We do NOT do this just because we are good.
We do NOT do this because we are bored of everything else.
We do NOT do this for our glory. 

We DO this because God loves orphans and has willed us forward (not just us, but ALL of US).
We DO this because all children deserve to be safe, loved, and cared for.  
We DO this because we cannot sit by and ignore the treasures of the world that need help.  
We DO this for the Glory of God.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Will you join us in prayer as we adventure on for the children that God loves so much? Will you pray that our ears will be open to God and closed to discouragement.  Will you pray it will all be to God's glory?  Will you pray and see if God wants you to join us in the adventure or if He is taking you on an adventure of your own?  

Will you allow God to change all the plans that you have laid for your future and go His direction?
Nothing in my life has been like I imaged or planned it would be, it has been better!

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
Micah 6:8

As you celebrate Valentine's Day and the people that you love, remember those who also need your love.  

Andreas you are my love and best friend.  I am so excited that God has called us to adventure matter what country we are in and what plans have not come to pass.  Our Family adventure is the best!

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


As said before I will try my best to convey what I have been learning in my quiet times with the Lord.  
(if you are not interested in a bit of a heart ''theological'' thought, you may want to skip this post and move on to the other post I wrote tonight with pictures).

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,for the sake of his body, which is the church.
Colossians 1:24

Sometimes I wonder what am I suffering and do I count it as suffering for Christ or do I try to find the quickest way out of the suffering.  I think we do not understand or are not ''tuned in'' to know why we are going through the trials we are.  What am I filling up in my flesh?  Can I say that I don't care how I am treated as long as the gospel is proclaimed?  I have been taking a good long look (again) at how I perceive myself and react to others.  

Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with Samuel not long ago about how being in authority really means being a servant.  How we must take care of and serve those that we are in authority over.  Like being a parent. Yet, I wonder sometimes if I have really taken that to heart. 

As we venture into Nepal, how do I perceive myself and those we go to meet.  What am I willing to endure so that a child finds a place that is safe, loving and stable and shown who Jesus is.  Christ would say to count them above me, but do I really take that to heart?  Essentially it is a battle of my will or God's.  I have by no means conquered all these thoughts, but have been ''wrestling'' with myself, basically my selfishness.  

I try so hard to teach my children not to be selfish, yet I am confronted with my own. I am not discouraged, but know that I will not turn back, but face what God puts in front of me.  



A few weeks ago we went on a Church retreat just outside of Notodden, Norway.  It was cold ( minus 21 Celcius at night and minus 15 C during the day), but gorgeous.  We came together to talk, think and pray about what the future holds for this Church.  It was also a good time to get to know the people in the church much better.  We were very thankful for this time and came away with a better sense and how to pray, how to move forward.

Kids and adults alike had a great time sledding.  Some of us even did some cross country skiing.  Sorry, there are no pics of me on skis, but I did try it again (the second of third time in my life).  I spend most of my time on the ground, but didn't give up easily.  Sam tried skiing and now really likes it.  Today we went to the second hand store and bought him some because his school class is going skiing on Friday.  Apparently everyone here in Norway learns as we will follow the trend.  As I have learned it is much easier to learn when you lack the fear of an adult and have way more stamina!

This is the house the we stayed in for the retreat.  The view was breathtaking and always brings me to God.

I am thankful for this Church family that God has allowed us to be a part of.  Please continue to pray for us as we look to minister to the community that God has put us in.  


Friday, February 01, 2013

Just Thinking

Yes, yes...I know.  So many have asked me why I haven't posted and I simply haven't.  I haven't had much to say or maybe I have had too much and I simply can't get my head around it at the moment.  (we have had internet issues...and I am not one that deals with technology well, but that is beside the point).

I have or am having a time of quiet.  Possibly the calm before the storm, the deep breath before the plunge.  As we begin or extend this journey into Nepal and working on a home for the beautiful children of Nepal I have felt more and more of a need to just be quiet before the Lord.  Thankfully I have heard ''trust me'' in those quiet times.   I am catching glimpses of just what it means to lay all of me down for Christ.  It is both terrifying and wonderful at the same time.  

In the days before we leave for Nepal, I will try to elaborate on what I have been learning.  

We leave for Nepal on Feb. 14th and return the 25th.  We will be updating the while we are in Nepal.  Please pray for discernment, safety, and our total surrender to what God would have for us to do.  Please also pray for us and our boys as we will be apart longer than we ever have been from them.  Don't worry, they are in great hands (Farmor and Farfar), but it will still be hard.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Another Small Post

Wow, looking back at the stats of my posts last year I realized how poorly I have done on keeping up.  I have a million excuses, but none that I will use here.

I did want to say, as we begin this new year, that I am incredibly blessed.  Thinking back over the almost 39 years of my life is well weird (because I always though that next to 40 would be really old), but amazing to see all the people that have come in and out of my life.  The Lord has blessed me with so many friends spread around this globe of His.  I am thankful for each of you (sorry, can't name everyone).  My life has been shaped and molded by conversations, smiles, hugs, confrontations, etc.  that stitch together who I am and so many that have lead me closer to Jesus.

As I think of all of you I cannot begin to express how much I miss you guys.  So remember to hug the friends in your life today because it may be that God has them there for only a time.

And thank you to everyone who has ever invested in my life.

Old pic, but I thought it was really cute! I think David is really trying to smile here.  

Monday, January 07, 2013

Another interesting year

This is a guest post from Andreas, trying to wrap up 2012 (yes, it is a little late). It's been quite the year...
It seems that our family never has a "normal" year. For instance, Laurie and I have been married over 15 years and during that time we have moved 16 times...and out of those 16 there were three moves across the Atlantic ocean. Clearly, other people move more often and into more challenging environments, but for us it means that this thing called "normal" is harder to pin down. It's like waiting for the ocean to be completely calm and then deem than state normal, when in fact the normal state for an ocean is to be constantly in motion.

By far, the biggest "wave" on our ocean this year was moving to Norway. Oh, the irony (at least for me, Andreas). As a Swede, Norway has always been the butt-end of jokes and ridicule, all harking back to the fact that Sweden used to own Norway and that Sweden used to beat the tar out of Norway in that most important part of life...sports. So, for decades Sweden used to trounce Norway in every single sport imaginable (including winter sports) and we made sure that those happy, flag-waving, knitted-sweater wearing blondes knew it...until of course the 2000s when Norway turned things around and are now taking us (Swedes) to school in all those winter sports that used to be our source of national pride and, well, taunting. Here you see the Norwegian ski star, Northug, carrying the Swedish flag across the finish line just so it, in fact, would cross it at all that day...and here I am, a Swede in Norway.

But it is not all bad. In fact, Laurie and the boys are doing rather well with the move. The Lord helped us find a very nice little house that we are slowly turning into a home. We live in a small town of 7000 people about as far away from the fjords and the mountains as possible, which is another little dose of irony. Laurie is staying a home, helping David adjust to his third culture in less than two years. They go to something called "open childcare" twice a week and will hopefully transition into part-time daycare this spring...IF we can afford it. Yeah, the rumors are true, the richest country in the world (or one of them) is also one of the most expensive countries in the world. It's weird to go back to Sweden to shop for food, a 30 minute drive, since compared to the USA, Sweden is super expensive.

Samuel is in third grade and although he really misses Sweden and his friends I don't know anyone who makes friends as fast as him. He is more or less fluent in Norwegian already and made his stage debut at the Christmas play this year, reciting some poem. I asked him if he was nervous being on stage before hundreds of people. He answered: "-No, pappa. Why are people nervous?". Why indeed?

The reason for our move was that the United Methodist church in Sweden died (or moved on to greener pastures due to its merger with two other churches in all depends on how you see it). In any case, I really didn't agree with the "new" church on many different levels and the simple fact is that I found my disagreements to be so severe that I would rather move to Norway and stay within the United Methodist Church than join this new thing in Sweden. Part of the reason for our move was also that my congregation in Alingsas, Sweden, where I served as pastor closed its doors after over 125 years, which meant that we would have had to move in either case.
The Norwegian UMC appointed me to pastor the church in Mysen. It is a small but beautiful church and despite its old age showing some very promising signs for the new year. As you might imagine, the church in Norway, or Scandinaiva for that matter, isn't exactly riding the wave of public popularity. In fact, the largest organized group in Norway outside the state church is the Atheist group. Nevertheless, the Lord has called people here to share the good news of Himself, so that is what I, and we, do.

Amazingly, Laurie had had a peace about this from the very beginning, which was back in June of 2011. Few men are blessed like I am with a wife so supportive and so hungering for God, as this move would have been incredibly hard without her support. The thing is, we didn't want to move. We really enjoyed our life in Sweden. I don't think I could have done this move if she hadn't been such a great wife. I know her reaction to this blogpost will be denying it, but those of you who know her know what I am taking about. She is a wonderful person and totally hot...but I alone may utter that second thing.

Before I post some random pictures from our 2012 I just want to mention that totally awesome little thing that started in 2012 and will really take shape in 2013...our project of starting an orphanage in Nepal. What started as a dream and a framed one-dollar bill back in 2006 has now turned into a very real possibility of helping some orphans in Nepal. We are flying to Nepal in February for ten days to meet with our contact person and set up the logistics of it all. Our hope is to have a location/building and a board for the orphanage and some potential people to hire all set up. Lord know how and when this is going to happen, which is why we simply turn to Him for advice or plans.
You can follow the progress and get involved by going to, or visiting us on Facebook.

May the triune God of holiness and love bless your 2013 and protect you from all evil!