Updates on Life Here · 47 minutes ago

Hi! It’s been a while since I blogged. We haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. !!!!

With school starting my days have been fuller with activity.

I homeschool James in the morning for his 1st grade work. We are using MCP Mathematics, MCP Phonics, Wordly Wise 3000, Explode The Code, Memorizing Colossians 3, doing lots of reading, creative play, crafts, etc. I’m enjoying working with my little guy!

I have also volunteered this quarter to teach a creative writing exploratory in middle school. There are six students in my class that meets twice a week. I’m really enjoying working with them and teaching them creative writing skills.

There is a strong possibility we will not be returning to the USA until the end of May/beginning of June for several reasons – paperwork for James’ immigration taking longer than we’d thought it would and most importantly, to help our kids have a good transition from life here back to the USA.

Thanks for your prayers!

— Beth Symanzik

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Moving Forward on Travel Documents · 7 days ago

On August 13th, James had his interview for obtaining a Philippine passport. He has been approved and the actual passport should be ready to pick up the first or second week of October.

We then need to obtain a US immigration visa for James. We are not sure how long that will take. But we’ve been advised it may take longer than we were thinking.
As we’d been hoping to travel December 22 back to the USA this may be delayed due to lengthy wait times obtaining the needed documents for James to come to the USA with us as our officially adopted son. If we don’t leave in December, we’d probably wait til the school year finishes in May of 2015 and travel then.

We’ve learned to hold loosely to our plans and cling tightly to His. His ways and timing are always right. So we rest in His leading.

Please pray for this process to proceed with no complications. We’ll keep you posted as to whether we are traveling to the states in December of this year or May of next year!

— Beth Symanzik

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Ben's 13 · 16 days ago

Ben and Kurt had a great three day father and son retreat at Eden Nature Park. They did “guy things” like hike, watch cable television, discuss life using the book “Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn, and just enjoying time together.

We had a family celebration with our good friend Ruth joining us.
Ben enjoys hamburgers, French fries and chips so we made hamburgers, over-baked French fries, sloppy joes and had tortilla chips.
We also enjoyed chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise!

— Beth Symanzik

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Ben is 13! · 19 days ago

Today, August 3, is Ben’s 13th birthday! What a blessing he is. I pray that he continues to grow in wisdom and grace, seeking first God in all his ways.

Kurt and Ben went for a father-son retreat for 3 days and 2 nights at a near by nature park. This is something I did with each of the girls when they turned 13 as well. It’s a great time to have fun together, discuss purity and growing up issues, though we don’t reserve those discussions for just one weekend in each of our children’s lives. Parenting is about helping kids grow into adults, discussing sexuality, puberty, purity, and many other topics along the way.
We are thankful for good authors who write books like “Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle”, “Five Signs of a Loving Family”, “Preparing Your Daughtet for Every Woman’s Battle,” etc.

We now have three teenagers in our home – Ben, 13; Kirsten, 16; Mikayla, 19.

— Beth Symanzik

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Put On the New Self · 24 days ago

Currently on my reading list are these books which I highly recommend –

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero

and

Emotionally Healthy Women by Geri Scazzero

Both these books put succinctly what God has been teaching me here on our missionary journey – to put off the old self, put on the new self, walk in truth, be honest.

From Pete Scazzero’s recent blog post:

“God calls us out of living a “pretend life” that accumulates as layers over us as a result of our families of origin and our culture. To find love, value, and worth, we often become people God never intended. Part of the gift of salvation in Christ is a deliverance from our false selves into our true selves in Christ, living out our unique “sealed orders” from Him.

Paul calls us “not to lie to one another” (Col. 3:9) which can be translated, “Don’t be false with one another.” The following is the brief assessment I shared during the message.

The degree to which we are living out of our false, or pretend, self exists on a continuum that ranges from mild to severe. We are all in process, including myself. Use the simple assessment below to get an idea of where you fall on the continuum. Note each one that describes you.

False Self-Assessment

- I am reluctant to admit my weaknesses and flaws to others.

-I look for the approval of others more than I should

- I am highly “offendable” and defensive when people criticize me.

-I often become harsh and impatient when things are moving too slowly or my expectations are not met.

-I say “yes” when I would rather say “no”.

-I beat myself up when I make mistakes.

-I have difficulty speaking up when I disagree or prefer something different.

-I have a number of people I am struggling to forgive.

-My fears often cause me to play it safe “just in case.”

-My body is more often in a state of tension and stress than relaxed.

If you checked two or three statements, you may be living out of your false self at times. If you checked four to five, you probably have a moderate case of pretending to be somebody you are not. If you checked six or more, you want to receive this as a gentle wake up call to a deeper journey with Jesus!

(http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/symtoms-of-the-false-self/)

— Beth Symanzik

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