Hey there everyone!
I thought I would update to let you know a little more of whats happening in our lives here in Vienna.
Obviously my wife and I are thinking alot about the baby nowadays and as we do we are realizing that there will be alot of changes in our lives and probably even more than we even dream right now. As of right now we aren't absolutely certain what sex our child will be but we should know in the next few weeks possibly. To the right on our blog there is a poll that we encourage you to take guessing what sex our child will be. Obviously just choose one. I (Brian) have been asking my elementary art kids what they think its going to be and the total right now after 1st grade alone is Boy, 13, Girl, 1. So if any of you think its going to be a girl go ahead and vote . . .as far as we know it could be either. We are never truly certain . . .God can fool even the most experienced doctors looking at the scan of our child. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this poll that EVERYONE should do!:)
As far as the other parts of our lives not consumed with thoughts of baby there is our energy break that is coming up next week. We have all week off as kind of an Austrian tradition where the kids go and learn to ski. There is no school but our kids are no longer required to ski, so it is really like a winter break separate from Christmas break. This semester we have a week off now in February, one week and a day off in March and at least one day off in each of the subsequent months afterwards.
Betka and I have been thinking for a long time how I can get more involved or have more of a personal ministry here at VCS as I usually tend to be the "helper" type person and I never really start something or organize it. Betka is "urging" me to consider doing something art-related. I would like to do that but my only concern is that there will be no students willing to show up due to the fact that their schedules are so busy at this time. Maybe it is just my apprehension at having to prepare something for the kids to do. My thought is that I need to develop an idea, get another teacher on board and then start it at the beginning of the next school year. Currently many of our elementary students are attending drama club and the woman that is organizing that is leaving after this year. I was thinking that I might offer art club instead of drama club. I am also praying that there is someone that organizes drama club as the kids are crazy about it. We'll see what the Lord leads people to do including myself. Pray for me as I contemplate what I can do.
On a more practical note Betka and I were blessed with being able to get a bed frame to actually elevate our sleeping quarters off the floor. We wanted to keep our bed in the bedroom separate from our living room and this was the only way to be elevated and do that. Our main reasoning was that when Betka progresses in her pregnancy she might not want to get up from 8 inches off the ground. we slept on it last night and it was wonderful!:) Also there are some more practical things, that you all could be praying as to how the Lord might use you to help us out with. Some of these are including but of course not limited to . . . Crib, changing table, baby clothes, diapers, crib mattress, crib sheets. We are also shopping for a good stroller good for a new born and a toddler. Betka and I think that the best way for you all to help out is to either donate to RCE and make a note to us of what it is supposed to be used for or just send a check made out to Brian Reynolds and send it to my parents home. If you send it directly to me it won't be a tax deduction but it will get straight to me and Betka. Even as we think of all the "stuff" that we'll need we are reminded that the Lord promises that all we need will be taken of. He promises again and again in His word. I read this morning in Genesis his actions with Jacob/Israel and his family as they moved from Canaan to Egypt. From chapter 46 . . .
"1 So Israel set out on the journey with everything he owned. He arrived at Beersheba and worshiped, offering sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to Israel in a vision that night: 'Jacob! Jacob!' 'Yes?' he said. 'I'm listening.'"
. . .and then towards the end of the book in chapter 47. . .
" 11-12 Joseph settled his father and brothers in Egypt, made them proud owners of choice land—it was the region of Rameses (that is, Goshen)—just as Pharaoh had ordered. Joseph took good care of them—his father and brothers and all his father's family, right down to the smallest baby. He made sure they had plenty of everything."
For some reason this morning the Lord impressed on me that although the word is talking about Joseph that he "took good care of them—his father and brothers and all his father's family, right down to the smallest baby. He made sure they had plenty of everything." that this could also be taken to mean that He, our Lord will take care of us. Israel/Jacob was obedient to what Joseph told him to do and went into Egypt asking for a place to settle and through Pharoah the Lord chose to bless Israel and ALL his family even down to the "Littlest baby." It was the littlest baby part that really got me. Do we really believe that if we are obedient the Lord will take care of us or is it merely us working for our blessings? Don't you think that the Lord would choose to bless us regardless of what we worked for? What I got from this piece of scripture this morning is that the Lord chooses to bless those that Love Him and not just those but their whole family as well. That is very comforting considering where I am with my family right now. With our coming parenthood on the horizon it is a great joy to know that He, meaning the Lord, will provide for what everyone in my family needs. Please keep praying for Betka and I to truly believe this in our hearts during this time that is quite difficult for us.
I (Brian) am not really sure if I have mentioned my own Dad's condition at all in this blog. Without going into very great detail to spare you the doctor mumble jumble I will just say that this whole ordeal with his health is obviously difficult on Him but it is also very trying for the rest of us his immediate family. For the first time in my life my own mortality has been truly brought before me. As I was on duty after school a few days ago,(I watch the elementary students while they play until 3:45 when they go home), I realized how they feel as kids. They don't really ever think about death . . .they've just begun this path called life. It doesn't even ever occur to most of them that this thing of life even ever ends. As I thought of my students and watched them joyously play on the playground, I began to think of the "life stages" that we all go through. My dad happens to be near the end of his journey and he is getting closer to the goal of being with Jesus, his race is almost finished. Betka and I are at the same place in our physical journey through life. We are looking to welcome a new life into this unforgiving world. Really here at VCS we can see all stages of life as many can elsewhere. It occurred to me the other day that there is only one thing that matters . . . .there really is . . .I know it has been said so many times and life so often gets so busy that we lose sight of it and we forget to save time for it. that one thing that matters is knowing Jesus better. Observing how the students love the Lord, and how my wife loves the Lord and my own struggle to fight my own selfishness to love the Lord, I have come to the conclusion that it IS really only Jesus that truly matters. God is still revealing to me the ramifications of that and many are new each day, but it has actually hit me and this is very very recent. It isn't what a pastor said, it isn't something I have read in a book. Jesus matters. That's it. It isn't what we want, its not about us being happy. Its all about us trusting Him with everything and I mean everything. I believe that we all have things that we resist the Lord on. For me its allowing Him to get into the threads of my life. Making personal decisions every day that He wants me to make. The simple fact that I struggle with things and don't run to Him first is a problem. So yeah thats my soap box for today. Jesus matters. get with Him more, talk to Him, read His word. He DOES MATTER!! :)
Well, as it appears that I wrote a book today I will bid you all adieu for now. Betka and I are continually talking about how blessed we are to be in a position to be able to spend alot of our time being thankful for all of you out there that lift us up in prayer and support. We would really love to hear from any of you out there. Just email either of us at the address that is in the right hand column. We pray that today you are extremely blessed by Jesus because it IS only He that matters the most.
In His grip,
Brian & Betka