If you haven't heard our big news yet, check out the following video:


So . . . . . this pause isn't the only thing that's pregnant. You should probably watch this video NOW.
Posted by Joshua Slabaugh Garber on Sunday, November 15, 2015
Helping Julija with her church camp in August. You can see a
post from last year's camp here, although this time Alisha was
able to join. Julija is the student who adopted us.
If you know anything about our story, you know that our process of trying to grow our family has been one filled with pain, disappointment, and fear. In fact, almost exactly one year ago we were not celebrating -- we were in deep mourning as Alisha and I tried to cope with our second miscarriage.

But this season is much different. Advent has taken on new meaning and the place where Mary's song comes from is filled with new life as we hear those words with fresh ears. If Christmas is about birth, then Advent is about pregnancy.

And holy cow is Alisha pregnant! (For those of you who are interested, we've established Alisha is the "sassy" kind of pregnant lady)

Josh and several of the Ukranian students at the first day of classes parade.
Josh secretly hopes he can be as cool as they are.
We know our blog has been somewhat silent and we apologize. In many ways, it's hard to know what to say. Our fourth year at LCC has not been filled with new experiences and new revelations, but we have stayed busy. In many instances, it feels as though we could just re-link to a past blog post and it's content would be just as relevant today as it was when first posted.

However, outside our LCC routines, there's a lot we've wanted to comment on but we've not been able to find the words. I'll do my best here to recap with hopes of revisiting some of these ideas second semester:
  • Alisha's pregnancy is something we learned right at the start of this school year, so we've had growing anticipation all semester that we had to keep to ourselves out of fear of the devastation of another loss.
  • In the midst of our joy and the anticipation of new life, we've found ourselves in mourning -- late October, we learned that a very close friend and the lead pastor at our church in Phoenix died in a motorcycle accident. I tried to write about that in a blog post but there are no words that can express our sadness. We're still recovering from that along with the Trinity Mennonite Church community.
  • The refugee situation here in Europe -- what is there to say? We've tried to do our part in bringing the conversation to LCC's campus but there's not a lot of certainty on how incoming refugees will impact us and the rest of Lithuania.
  • We were fortunate to travel a few times this year (click the links to see photos). First to Malta for our 10th wedding anniversary, second to Spain to visit some exciting Anabaptist communities, and finally to TelÅ¡iai in Lithuania to play music at the SIELOS festival with the LCC Chapel Band and our group, Sparrows.
  • What is our plan for next year? December is usually when LCC wants to know if we intend to return next school year or not. As we are in the fourth year of what was initially a two-year commitment, this has become a process involving great reflection and discernment. We are certainly in the midst of seeking God's will for us.
As you can see from this post, our thoughts are everywhere and anywhere. Our hope is to elaborate better on some of these ideas next semester but, for now, we seek to stay present in this Advent season.

Also, we will be learning our due date and whether we will have a boy or girl after New Years, so check back regularly! We are resolving to keeping this blog updated on a much more regular basis from here on.

If you are reading this, we thank you for your support, encouragement and prayers!

"Cruisin' down the street in my '64..." This is why Josh doesn't get to choose where to park the school van anymore.

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