Saturday, September 8, 2012

"the end"

This post is the end. It is also the beginning. It is the end of almost a month of living apart from Rich. He moved to Bloomington, Illinois last month to begin teaching, but the kids and I have been on our own back here in Pennsylvania waiting on a few tiny logistical details such as where would we all live in Illinois? It has taken this entire time to sort out living arrangements, nail down a moving truck, pack up the house, get our current home on the market, etc....  But now, finally, with 9 weeks left until the next Sealy is due to be born, our family is at the end of this season of separation and poised at the very beginning of a new life together in the midwest. We're moving into a rental house this coming week and then hopefully over the month or two that follow, our house here will sell and we'll find a house out there to buy. The Lord will do all things well.

This post is the end of my occasional daydreams about how much more efficiently and smoothly I could run a household without the interference - pardon me, I meant INPUT - of my husband. This month has been an exhausting and eye-opening experience of what my life would be like without Richard and I have grown immensely in a mature appreciation of not only what he does for us but more importantly who he is to us. Yes, he takes out the trash and cuts the grass and squashes bugs and frees me to go to the grocery store without dragging three highly needy individuals along - but truly I have not missed him primarily because of his usefulness. I've missed him as my best friend, companion, soul mate and sounding board. I've missed him as the father to my children. I've missed the person of Richard - and so have the kids (particularly Bernadette. Joseph, I think, has mostly forgotten that such a person as "Papa" exists).  But I confess I have also missed his usefulness. Tremendously. It turns out he is far more useful than I was giving him credit for. Praise be to God.

This post is also the final, last, true end of our Mission to New Zealand. We are beginning our next mission - after a three month mission-recovery-respite, the Lord has finally moved all the pieces and placed them just so and by next week the whole family will be inserted into this next chapter in our communal life. I call this mission "The Mission of Everyday Life" and actually, we are all living out a mission of the same title, all the time, in New Zealand, or in America, or anywhere else.

Since this post marks the end of our Mission to New Zealand, it seems apparent to me that it is now time to end this blog as well. I have lots of mixed feelings about signing off, but with two moves on the horizon, a fourth baby coming in a few weeks and the part-time research project that Rich and I are collaborating on, I'm not sure the months to come will hold many hours for blogging anyway. And if I should change my mind down the line, I already have set up my next blog. A few months before leaving NZ, I played around and set up my post-New Zealand blog. Once life settles down a bit, if I feel prompted to begin blogging again, here's where you'll find me:

Many thanks to all who have read along with us and who have supported and cared and encouraged us. May the Lord bless you with His reckless generosity, may He give you every needed grace in His perfect timing and may your hearts find deep and abiding peace in Him.

The End.

Friday, August 17, 2012


In college I had a very close friend named Eileen. She now has two little boys roughly the ages of my two girls, and just a few months ago she had a beautiful baby girl and named her Quinn.

Quinn started showing all the same symptoms Joseph showed at a few weeks old. The doctors were investigating to see if the diagnosis of Alagille Syndrome was appropriate for Quinn.

This morning Eileen wrote to tell me that Alagille Syndrome has been ruled out - Quinn has been diagnosed with a very rare disorder that causes blindness, deafness, retardation and then death by age 2. There are no treatments.

Everyone has prayed so much for Joseph and he has escaped nearly every upsetting prediction the doctors have laid out for him. Please pray for little Quinn, for Eileen and her husband, and for Quinn's two brothers. Pray that she may see miracles from our good God as Joseph has, and pray for every needed grace for this family.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

details (and a mini-tantrum)

The Sealy household is a flurry of activity again! Rich is preparing to start teaching high school theology in Illinois. We're acquiring his professional wardrobe, and packing, packing, packing. I think I could practically be a professional packer by now. Our house goes up for sale on Monday and there have been some logistical boxes to tick (but more than that, I've been grappling with the emotional side of letting go). However, the Lord has blessed us in so many ways this past week, that I am in a season of feeling nearly overwhelmed by two truths: that we exist for the praise of His glory and that He has done all things well.

invincible cuteness

After six months of frustrating and stressful "job searching" we felt no closer to finding a position that suited Rich's interests and gifts than we had at the beginning. Then two jobs that Rich had not applied for (or even known existed) dropped out of the clear blue Provident sky right into his humbled, grateful lap. A good friend who had been Rich's best man at our wedding called to say that a teaching position had opened at his school - the only catch was that school started ten days from the date of the call and the school is about an eight hour drive from our current home.

(click on map to enlarge)

We had to make a decision quickly, without seeing the town to which we'd move or the environment in which Rich would work. Kind of like our discernment about New Zealand....(only I think Fr Michael had given us fourteen days to decide, not ten - and Rich had seen Lord of the Rings like a zillion times). Rich and I have been to Illinois once. For about 48 hours. That said, we both loved it. I'm 110% pro-Midwest. It snows there, you know.

bernadette celebrated her 3rd birthday on July 29
(her first ever birthday on american soil!)

Speaking of Fr Michael, for two years he never stopped telling Rich that he should teach after our mission years. It turns out that guy really knew what he was talking about!

Then just tonight Rich accepted an (unexpected) invitation to do part-time, home-based research for some additional income. As the father of a growing family, he was very grateful for this opportunity. (We buy so much milk every week that I wonder if it would be more economical to purchase a cow). We are stunned and astonished by the Lord's Providence and determined more than ever to radically abandon ourselves to trusting Him in all things

I think the requested "purple kitty cat cake" came out as my best cake yet!

So at present, life is very busy, but very good. Rich is praying that the house sells by Tuesday - or Wednesday, at the latest. I might need a few more days to accept that this house - which is like a member of the family to me - is going to belong to someone else. YUCK! I'm trying to be graceful and feel happy that such a sweet, cheerful little house is going to bless another family, but all I really feel is NO fair! It's mine! Mine, mine, mine, MIIIIINE!!!!

Pray for me. Fervently. I clearly need to grow up.

MY happy little living room

MY bedroom, in which FOUR of my children have destroyed many nights' sleep
(even the little twerp in the womb is perfecting this art already)

There are lots of transitions and adjustments and new challenges in the weeks ahead, but it's an exciting and blessed time for us. Busy as anything, a little overwhelming - but blessed - almost in a surreal way. If the fruit of an authentic blessing is increased humility, it's been a very humbling week! Praise the Lord.

true, there may be someone else out there worthy 
of enjoying quiet evenings on MY - I mean, this - porch.