February has been as up and down as a day of skiing, of which it has included a few. One terminated in two sled runs – two-mile long, slick, winding path DOWN through a forest? It’s about as wild and crazy as you’d imagine – like skiing but with severely limited maneuverability and no brakes but your own appendages! Of course we loved it and laughed our sides sore (not to mention the other bruises)!

Earlier that day we’d skied down the 5.3mile slope from the top of Lagazuoi (near Cortina D’Ampezzo, home of the 1956 and 2026 winter Olympics) to the horses that pull skiers to the next town when the run becomes a flat road. And that same day terminated with a beautiful sunset view of the Dolomites. What a day!

But back to day-to-day life… We reminded ourselves often that “our battle is not against flesh and blood” and that “we do not wage war as the world does.” Thus when requested, just before the year’s biggest championship meet and with clear consciences, we simply stepped down from the swim team in accordance with the board’s desire. While we fear that the tangle of twisted truth told about us only discredits Jesus, we continue to pray that God would somehow be glorified in this mess.

Thankfully, the girls were still permitted to swim at the championships and did quite well, besting nearly all of their previous times. Gwen ventured her first-ever real dive off a block in a meet. Zoe beat 30 seconds for her 50 meter freestyle, which has been a goal for some time (and of course she beat Mommy’s time in the coaches’ relay!). And Matti won a medal or ribbon in every event she swam – the most of anyone on the team. But best of all, we enjoyed just being together a family, without the demands of volunteering and leadership. Praise God for that!

Looking forward, we’d still appreciate God’s clear guidance for our next steps, both here in the near term with where our family should be involved and in the longer term with where He’d have us live and serve in the future. What burdens weigh on your mind that we might help carry before the throne of Grace? We’d love to share that load with you.

Dolomite sunset

Slow ski jouring. Two-horse power ski touring, really. Gwen’s the little one with the white helmet. Zoe is her chaperone. Matti and Donna are in the back.