New Family Photos 2015 · 3 days ago

A friend of ours, who is a photographer, took over 2000 photos of us in June. Don’t worry! I won’t post all 2000+ photos! But I will post some. And there are more to look at on my facebook account.

— Beth Symanzik

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"It Still Works!" · 8 days ago

We are in a season of more frequent power outages, lasting 1 – 2 hours once or twice a day. Yesterday, our son, James, made us laugh when, after the power went out, he walked over to the piano, played a couple of the keys and exclaimed in great relief, “it still works!”

He is so technologically minded that the thought of something working without power seems to amaze him!!!

— Beth Symanzik

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Dude · 8 days ago

The people we are renting the house from for this year have a dog named Dude. He is a lab. He was staying with another family but it wasn’t working out, so Dude is back here with us now. This works out well for us. We didn’t want to buy another dog when we plan to be leaving the end of May 2016, so God provided us with Dude. I’d post a picture but my camera died.

— Beth Symanzik

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Bear 2007-2015 · 12 days ago

Funny the changes a day can bring.

Since we moved to our new rental a month ago we started noticing our dog, Bear, becoming lethargic.
We thought maybe he was eating a plant that might be poisonious so we moved them out of his reach.

But the last couple days there was rapid weight loss, labored breathing….

the vet came….

old dog, tumors under the skin, kidney and liver failure starting…

we had him put down.

He was a good dog.

James made a cross for his grave. Ben, Kirsten and Kurt dug the hole. I provided hugs, a cloth for Bear’s burial. Mikayla witnessed some of the process via skype from the UK.

We’ll get another dog as they provide good security here. But for the moments now we mourn the passing of this good dog, Bear.


Bear as a puppy.







— Beth Symanzik

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Maturity · 19 days ago

Currently, my youngest sits at the kitchen sink with tears in his eyes because he has to wash about 12 dishes that are in the sink.

I ask him why he’s crying. “I don’t like to wash dishes” he says dejectedly. Being the ever so patient mom I am at moments (please hear the sarcasm in that statement), I say, “well, we all have chores to do in life we don’t like to do so just get it done” and walk away.

Soon I hear water running, rattle of dishes and know he’s doing his job.

We all have maturity issues. We all balk at learning new skills, growing. Sometimes we just want to play and not be responsible. I’d be irresponsible as a mom if I didn’t push my children to take on new responsibilities.

Spiritual maturity is achieved that same way, with Christ pushing us through His Word, through the Holy Spirit, to become more like Him. It requires us to reorder our priorities, to change from doing what pleases our self to doing what pleases God. Perseverance, consistent time with Christ in His Word, prayer; all spiritual disciplines to be developed.

It’s an ongoing process – filled with grace, mercy, coaching, forgiveness, failures, restarts…but all leading toward growth.

Philippians 3:12–14 instructs us to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of us. We need to strain, shed tears, fall down, get back up, keep our eyes on Him…press on in Him to obtain the prize for “which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Like Paul, let us each press on toward deeper love and obedience to our Abba God in Christ, pursuing Him first in all our ways. Even in washing dishes!

Hosea 6:3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

— Beth Symanzik

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