Friday, April 27, 2012

Coming Home

I'm a happy man today.  Sasha is on her way home!

It has been quite a week.  Everything went smoothly here on the home front.  The girls did all their schoolwork.  We took a trip to the zoo.  There was bike riding, and good family fun.  I also got some office work done, and caught up on some reading.  It did feel strange to spend all my time with the girls, but it was nice to be able to give Sasha a break and bond with my daughters at the same time.

Though things went well here in Sofia, the extended family went through a period of mourning.  Sasha's Grandpa passed away on Tuesday.  This was very sad for the whole family, though it was expected to happen sometime soon.  He was 89 years old and in failing health.  We all have fond memories of him, and he will be missed.

The girls were sad to hear of his passing.  They just met him last fall.  They still talk about the trip to meet Pradiado and Prababa (Great-grandpa and Great-grandma).  The girls were also sad that Baba and Diado had to leave.  They were watching the girls this week, but of course had to return to Drianovo for the funeral.

I was going to pack up the girls and go to the funeral as well, but my father in law informed me that the funeral would probably not be a good place for the girls.  He told me rather that it would be best to come to the 40 day remembrance service in June.

Sasha was sad to miss the funeral as well, but she also agreed that the 40 day service would be a better one to go to for the kids.  Besides, then we can all go.

Today, I will clean house in expectation of the queen's arrival.  It will be good to see her again.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Women's Conference

As I type, Sasha is on her way to Spain for a week long women's conference hosted by ReachGlobal.  Since we joined the organization years ago, there have been several such conferences, but this is the first one Sasha has been able to attend.

I'm very glad that she was able to go this time.  It has been a stressful month of house searching with the knowledge that another move is on the horizon.  It was nice to send her off this morning knowing that she will have a week to relax and refresh with her fellow women.

It did not take long for the kids to notice she was gone.  Less then an hour after her plane took off, Alexis said, "I want my Mommy."  They are in good hands though, and Baba and Diado have come to visit.

Have a good time Sweets.  We'll miss you.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Great Sasha's Day

Today is Sasha's day.  It is the anniversary of the day she became a U.S. citizen.  I got her a present and we went out this morning for a bit together to celebrate, but the real celebration came in the afternoon.

This afternoon we finalized the details on our new home.  It is a house with a yard closer to the center of town and near many public transportation lines including the new subway line that will open this fall.  It is also just a few blocks from Sophie's (and next year Veronica's) school.  The house did not have everything we wanted, but the owners were willing to lower the rent for us.  The pluses outweigh the minuses, and we look forward to moving in next month.

Tonight, as we celebrated over Chinese takeout, Sasha told me she was exhausted.  I can't blame her. It has been a long month of searching.  But the search is over.  Now all we need to do is move.  Well, at least the hardest part is over.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

It is Good Friday in America.  We have another week to go here in Bulgaria.  This morning I read the story of the death of Jesus as told by Mark.  I noticed something I had never noticed before.  Mark 15:31 reads, "In the same way, the chief priests and teachers of the law mocked him among themselves.  "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself!" (emphasis added).

I had never noticed before that their mocking of Jesus was not totally public.  Unlike others who were watching, they were not mocking Jesus directly.  They were patting each other on the back for a job well done.  They were murdering and proud of it.

My first thought was how vile they were.  Who would sin in such a way and be proud of it?  But then, I remembered all the sins I have done intentionally.  True, I have never murdered or even killed another human being, but I have intentionally hurt people just because I wanted to.  I have been proud that I did it, and considered it a job well done.  How much better am I really?

With this thought in my head, verse 37 hit me all the harder.  "With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last."  It other accounts we read that this loud cry was, "It is finished."  This is a translation of a word which was used at the time by runners finishing a long race.  It was a yell of victory.  With this shout, he defeated the sin in humanity.  He defeated the sin in those mocking him.  He defeated the sin in those patting themselves on the back for his murder.

He defeated the sin in me.

He defeated the sin in you.

And that's not even the end of the story.