Thursday, March 29, 2012

So a friend had commented about our decision to buy a house and had thought we weren't going to settle down because of our hearts for Missions. I thought I would share a bit on all that. But it is a big subject that I, someone who draws out a conversation and can never leave out the details (which I may forget some and add more later). If you have ever had a face-to-face conversation with me or read have one of my school papers (*cough, cough, Shauna Hall), then you will understand. Unlike school, I can grade my posts and can give myself the freedom to jabber on and on, haha.

SO.... Missions.

Yes! We would love to go and serve! Africa maybe. Or Haiti. Somewhere with disaster relief needs or... okay, we don't know "where" yet, but thats just because the Lord has yet to reveal this to us. But you see, Zach's school cost about $$k, and I haven't finished school yet. We believe that we will one day serve somewhere with Zach as a pilot and me... not too sure about this yet either. I was planning on going to school to get a major in education and a minor in missions so that I could be a missionary teacher. This was my plan until the Lord took my peace away in the summer of 2006 just before I was about to start my freshman year of college. It was a few months later that we found out that my mom was sick, and it was in her last 6 months that the Lord put Zach and I in each other's lives and we developed a close friendship. March 17th was the 5th anniversary of Mom going to be with Jesus, and March 21st was the 5 year anniversary of Zach's and my courtship. (There are more details in those 6 months prior to our courtship, as well as of our courtship and engagement, but that will be another blog.)

Zach and I don't think we are ready for the mission field beyond our current setting. We understand this not just financially (cause $ is nothing when God calls us to something), but we know that our mission field that is before us now is our family: Levi and Elias. We want to grow as parents for each of our children. God has entrusted these sweet little creations to us and we want to pour into them, learn from them, and we know that some lessons we could learn for the mission field aren't taught by those who have gone before us and shared from their experiences, but from the opportunities right in front of us. If Zach and I get to go serve with our kids, I want to be their teacher. I believe it is my calling to teach my children. I knew the Lord had gifted me with the ability to work with children. I thought maybe I was to be a school teacher, but for now I am a young mom and I know my responsibility is to them first.They are my privilege. I know I do not need a teacher's license to homeschool, but on the mission field, I likely will. And maybe I can teach other kids too. Or maybe I will do other things... but I need to seek the Lord on this more and wait for His answer.

Okay so I do want to share a little about how we are sure the Lord has missions for us some day in the future. One word: AVIATION. Pretty simple. Zach had grown up in the church and he grew up loving airplanes. It wasn't until high school that Zach fell in love with Jesus on a mission trip he took to the Bahamas. He researched how he could use his love of planes and his heart for missions that the Lord had given him. He found MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). MAF had a list of recommended schools and on that list was LeTourneau University in Longview, TX. Zach knew this was what he was to do. He went to the community college back in MI to save some money (and since his mom taught art, he was blessed with free tuition) and it was during this time that he found me. We fell in love. He went to school in TX for a year ('07/'08). He came home and we got married (6/21/08). We moved to TX for him to finish school ('08-'10). Levi was born (11/6/09). Zach graduated (12/10). We moved to Idaho for Zach to work as a pilot/mechanic (2/11-present). And guess what is here in Nampa? MAF! Will we serve with MAF? Maybe not. There are a lot of aviation mission organizations. BUT we believe there are no coincidences. Our God ordains life's fun events :)

SO, we know we need to be out of debt. I want to finish school and not have to take out any more loans. And we have been given the opportunity to buy a home and put our money into mortgage and build equity rather than in rent. This home is an investment into our present- our family; but also into our future so that when we know the "when" answer about missions, then we can sell it all and go!

I probably should have written this a long time ago so that we could have more of our friends praying with and for us. I will try to be better at this.

Last but not least, Elias Marck is 4 months and weighs 13lbs 12oz. He is our chunker. Levi and Elias are best friends already and it melts my heart to see them together. Levi loves to play with his "my bruder". They make each other laugh! Levi not only shares his toys with Elias (I am always finding Elias buried under Levi's cars and airplanes or stuffed animals) but he also comforts him when he is crying. So sweet. If you are a parent, you understand. If you aren't, one day you will.

Levi and Elias (3 months)

Elias and Levi (4months)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Family Vehicle

Not sure where to begin with this post. I think the best way I can explain our feelings about this new blessing is to say that we are very thankful for the gift. Gift from the Lord, and an answer to prayers- from us and from my mother. I (Faith) have two siblings and remember my mom often wanting a van for her family, specifically the Honda Odyssey. Now that I have a family and two boys, I was wanting a family vehicle that would be comfortable and big enough for us to grow into. A van? An SUV of some kind? A wagon maybe? We very much wanted a second car because... well, honestly we have several reasons we could justify a purchase, but we didn't want to satisfy a "want" unless it was a "need". We were and still are very thankful for our faithful Saturn sedan which Zach will be driving to/from work and whenever. Being content was what we wanted, yet not being able to give anyone a ride, friends or even our family who visited from out of town, was kind of annoying. I too, like my mother, favored the Honda Odyssey. I had friends who had the Odyssey. People I babysat for drove the Odyssey.  The reputation was very good. But I didn't want to discount any other car that the Lord was going to provide, so we shopped around looking at whatever vehicle suited our needs. 
My Dad offered us a gift at Christmas and after some shopping around and waiting for our savings and budget to fit the price of the kind of investment we wanted to make, I just told Zach flat out that I wanted him to find our car and I would give input. I didn't want to affect a purchase (I can get emotionally attached and forget to consider the important details). He called on a few cars from Craigslist and either the cars fell short in specs or the owners didn't communicate well. Then on Saturday, 1/14/12, Zach emailed the lady with the 2003 Odyssey EXL. She emailed him immediately and we all got in the car to check it out. I basically stayed in the car (not wanting to offer a biased or unhelpful opinion). The van was in "very good" condition according to KBB and Zach really liked it. After that, we left for the park downtown to take a family walk. Zach and I talked it over, called my dad, and then called the lady back. We left a message. I tried to not get my hopes up because honestly we didn't have the full asking amount yet and she had another interested buyer coming to look at it the next day. Eventually she called back and said she would sell it to us. (YAY!!! a 2nd car! YAY!!! a Honda Odyssey!) Friday, 1/20/12, we met with the family, made the sale, and came home in the rainy evening with our new addition :)!
So in a nutshell, we wouldn't have this car if it weren't for the Lord's blessing and a very gracious gift (Dad). Zach said it too, "We are reaping the benefits to your mom's prayer, a van for her family."
I know this is a personal story, but also a testimony of the Lord's faithfulness. Dad may not have been able to give my mom the vehicle she wanted, but he was able to help her daughter and grandchildren enjoy the blessing :)

On another note, Elias Marck is 2 months!

Elias Marck ~ 2 months, 1/21/12

Elias Marck ~ 1 month, 12/21/11

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!! 2012

This is a quick recap of what the year 2011 looked like for the Soles family:

In January Zach interviewed with Valley Air Photos in Caldwell, ID. We said good bye to our beloved LeTourneau and Texas friends and February 21st was his first day at Valey Air, beginning a quite busy year. He worked as a camera operator and mechanic, and he flew whenever possible to build flight time. March 19th we discovered we would become a family of four. We found a new church family through The Pursuit Boise as well as great fellowship with LeTourneau friends who are part the MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) family here in Boise. In May- June Faith spent a month in Michigan to help her dad move, but mostly to spend some good time with family and friends as Zach was pretty much always on the road (or in the air) with work. Levi turned 2 on November 6th and then on the 21st he became a big brother to Elias Marck. In an effort to somewhat keep a mission perspective and not become too comfortable here in the states, Faith began cloth diapering Levi this August and is also CDing Elias now. Grandma and Grandpa Soles came out to visit us for Thanksgiving- okay, so they really came to meet Elias. And Grandpa Becklund, Uncle Ian and Great-Grandma Carole came out to spend Christmas with us.

We don't know what adventure is in store for us for 2012, but we eagerly welcome each new day knowing that the Lord has gone before us. We do know however that Zach will be flying a great deal more this year, mostly in the V-Tail Bonanza. Missions is still a desire of ours, yet for now until we know when, where, and how, we want to become the best missionaries we can be as parents to our two handsome boys. We want this year to serve the Lord who has been very gracious to us and our growing love for each other is a great testimony of His even greater love for us.

We love you all and thank you for all your love, prayers, and encouragement.
Blessings to you in 2012!
Zach, Faith, Levi and Elias Soles
*Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15