Sunday, July 8, 2018

Wholehearted Willingness

After God had spoken "Now” and released us to GO into full-time, international missions work, we prayed for almost two months before moving forward.

It was during this time that I felt Him asking me a question. And I knew that I had to do a little soul-searching first and not simply or impulsively answer.

“You are willing to die for a people group, but are you willing to suffer for them?”

And I knew that He meant voluntary suffering. Being willing to give up what little bit of health I had left. Lay it on the altar as a willing sacrifice.

It seemed different to suffer for not renouncing your faith in Christ versus suffering for a people when someone else could go.

That’s like voluntarily having the severe restless legs I had during pregnancy (intense pain and sleeplessness). Who would volunteer for that?!

I don’t like suffering. Death? Please! Torture gives me the chills.

But suffering is coming for everyone no matter what — voluntary or involuntary.

Really, it was a matter of obedience. Would I be willing to go wherever He sent me even if that meant embracing more suffering?

Of course, I would quickly shout, “Yes!” But He was telling me to wait and ponder, so that my “yes” would be deep in understanding and full in knowledge. A wholehearted acceptance.

There was no Aha! moment. Just prayers. Because suffering for the Bibleless is suffering for Christ.

I was praying a lot that God would help me to have His heart for people and love others more than myself. And I would pray that I would learn to trust His Spirit in me to endure with faith, love, and joy.

I’m still praying. But I am much more confident in my yes.

*I know Wycliffe Bible Translators would not send its members into wanton endangerment or ignore health concerns. I think that God just wanted me to wrestle with this and trust Him even more than I already do.

Monday, June 18, 2018

News, Changes, New Changes


Hi friends!

We are honored to share some exciting news— we have recently joined Wycliffe Bible Translators! I’ll share a little of the story now.

While we always knew that we were called to worldwide missions (since before marriage), we had never felt clear direction from God regarding specifics. Even though our heart never wavered, we were unsure of what our specific role would be. We have had two careers, two moves, and three kids while we waited.

Beginning in the summer of 2015, we began to feel anticipation, like some big change was coming (we thought it was my healing, which may come anytime!) Then in October 2016, God released us to pursue Wycliffe Bible Translators! What a surprise!

After much prayer and a long application process, we became official in April. We are now in the process of being launched to our first assignment, Public Relations for International Media Services, based at the JAARS Center in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Our assignments (and location) may change over time as the Lord leads. Please visit here for more information about joining our team.

We can share more of the story when we are traveling. We are honored to call you friends and greatly appreciate your communication, care, prayers, encouragement, and all support for our family!

Goal –
We must have 100% of our partnership team before we can be released to our assignment. The target date for our move to Waxhaw, North Carolina, is May 1, 2019.

Travel – 
Ricky will likely finish his current job this fall. We will leave soon after to travel cross-country to visit old and new friends. Please be in touch!

Note – 
We want to make it clear that if you are unable to provide financial support at this time, please do not avoid us! We treasure a relationship with you, no matter what!

Prayer Requests – 

  • Develop partnership team
  • Old and new relationships 
  • Homeschooling during this time 
  • For Ricky to strongly finish court reporting 

What we want to do for you – 

  • Pray and intercede 
  • Encourage and bless 
  • Share passion
  • Spread the vision

Gratefully,
Ricky, Aidan, Aolani, Micaiah, & Raphael  DiMartino

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Rolling into a Blur

  • First week of May: We enjoyed a day visit from a friend; had old neighbors over for dinner; and, helped host a health and wellness event for the Marshallese in our community (we even had an interpreter). My friend taught, I organized, and Ricky had a Poppin’ Party with all the kids!
  • Second week of May: We had more friends over for dinner; Ricky worked out of county most of the week; and, Ricky’s dad and brother came for a long weekend. We went to Sierra Nevada in Asheville one day and had a blast, but I think I got food poisoning that knocked me out for a day. Thankful that the big kids still got to go to church and small group :)
  • Third week of May: Ricky’s brother took his dad to the airport to fly out and picked up his mom who flew in to visit for a week — Ricky’s brother got sick the next day and had to leave two days early; the big kids got haircuts; we got to go on a movie theater date; a friend stayed the night; and, we all went to Boone for an overnight mini-vacation and to celebrate 11 years of being yoked together ;)
  • Fourth week of May: Ricky worked out of county three days this week; Aolani and the adults had dentist appointments and celebrated with milkshakes afterwards; went to a friend’s birthday party; and, went to small group.
  • Fifth week of May: A dear friend took our big kids along with her kids to a local children’s museum for a day; we went to an old friend’s house in the mountains for dinner (reconnected with one of my teachers from high school!); went to a Marshallese birthday party for one year old twins that was still going on after midnight :) ; a friend visits overnight; and, Ricky invited some Marshallese teenage boys over to watch basketball.
  • After much thought and discussion, we decided to give Aolani a dollar a day during the week for all of the ways she helps me around the house and with the baby while Daddy works :)
  • I helped Micaiah change his first poopy diaper!
  • Raphael grew really strong this month! He rolls and moves around everywhere. He’s teething and sucks/chews on his fingers. The hair on his head is finally growing. He is quick to smile, and he poops twice a day. He is getting louder and more talkative by the day. He especially loves his family and siblings. He nurses for about five minutes every hour and a half. And he still sleeps from around 1am until 1pm, waking twice to nurse. Generally, he naps three times a day. We started solid food toward the end of the month — avocado and butternut squash. He is beginning to really like playing peekaboo and started playing in a walker. Raphael is also really responsive to me — enjoys my presence and wants me. Overall, he is still a happy and easy baby whom everybody loves and adores!
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Psalm 51:10, Romans 14:11, 2 Timothy 1: 7, Mark 16:15  ; Aolani -- 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Peter 1:24-25, Ephesians 2:8, John 8:12, Romans 8:37

Monday, June 4, 2018

Called to Peace

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
Colossians 3:15

This is a popular verse in our home. And it has been for me for years now. But recently the Spirit illuminated a new depth of meaning that I had been missing.

I used to always focus on the first half of the verse, thinking the second half to be more like a directive telling me how I needed to behave. "Act peacefully since His peace rules your heart.” Not that there’s not truth to that, but I don’t think that’s what Paul is saying here.

I think Paul is getting at God’s action and not ours.

He has called me to be in and dwell in peace. It's not a call to action but a reminder of this gift He has for us. He wants for me to have and know peace. Imagine the Father beckoning His child to come get dessert.

So come and get it! For He is calling you to peace.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Focusing on Friends

  • First week of April: We had a friend visit one night; started taxes; had a sleepover with our friends; celebrated my birthday by going out to a cafe with a friend (and Raphael); and, went to small group. 
  • Second week of April: Taxes continued and completed; and, we got to visit a friend and see his new house and share a meal and games. 
  • Third week of April: We went on our second annual cabin adventure with two other families (great friends); there were seven little boys (6 and under) and only two girls! The kids had a blast! 
  • Fourth week of April: Ricky had to work out of county all week; my mom came to visit us for five days; we hosted our last missions committee (and are now stepping down); went to small group; and, held a tea party for Aolani. She invited seven girlfriends. She dressed them up upon arrival, and then they painted Kwik Stix flowers, did puzzles, drank tea and ate homemade strawberry shortcake, and played Guesstures. Ricky and Micaiah went to join a friend and his sons begin building a fort. 
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Matthew 5;14 & 16, Psalm 97:8-9, Joshua 24:15,  ; Aolani -- Psalm 34:10 & 18, John 15:13-14

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Open Expectancy

When Raphael was a newborn and it was time to feed him, he would lay across the Boppy on my lap and just open his mouth, wanting and waiting for me to put the nipple into his mouth. Knowing I would do it.

I keep thinking that God wants us to trust Him like that. Going to Him with open hands, expecting Him to fill us and nourish us.

Let’s go to Him with that confidence in His goodness (Heb. 4:16, Ps. 81:10)!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

People and Places Plenty!

  • First week of March: My mom visited; a friend joined us for a game day and dinner; the big kids enjoyed a play date with friends; and, we got to go on a double-date with some of our friends to see Tortured for Christ :) Great film!
  • Second week of March: We had to go to Asheville one day for an appointment and then treated the kids to a bakery for behaving so well; I got to get a massage!;  attended a JAARS Day with some friends (a free family event on a Wycliffe campus in NC) which had a bunch of fun activities; and, went to small group.
  • Third week of March: We had friends over for dinner; a good friend babysat so Ricky and I could go on a date to see the superb Broadway musical, Amazing Grace; attended the annual fundraiser for our local pregnancy care center; and, had several friends over to join us for pizza and Wonder (I was really surprised at how much the kids loved it!)
  • Fourth week of March: We enjoyed a sweet long weekend visit with a good friend from Wilmington, and we went to small group.
  • Fifth week of March: I met with the two women who are teaching a wellness class I am organizing for May; enjoyed friends visiting briefly; and, we went to DaySpring for four days to enjoy a few days there and drive to Wilmington for a day and go to our nephew's third birthday party :) 
  • When we went to Asheville looking for a specific address, we ended up near a post office and Micaiah shockingly said, “We drove all this way to go to the post office?!?!” ;) And when we were about to enter this facility, there was a “Quiet please" sign on the door. And in we come with two small kids and a baby. When one of the men working there saw us entering, his jaw dropped and he stared at us in utter disbelief and fear. His expression was priceless! (He had no need to fear as all three children behaved wonderfully.)
  • When we were going to my parents’ farm, Micaiah asked how much further when we were close. I told him that we had 20 more minutes. He exclaimed, “Twenty is not far from five and five is not far from zero!”
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Isaiah 9:6, Romans 12:19 & 21, Psalm 27:14, Matthew 18:3, Proverbs 3:5-6 ; Aolani -- Jeremiah 33:3, 1 Timothy 4:12, Romans 8:38-39

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

You, God's Joy


I wanted to get this down before I forget it!

Having a newborn really brought meaning to Zephaniah 3:17!
He will take great delight in you, 
Newborns don’t DO anything. They just are. I would get overwhelmed with delight looking at him, coddling him, and nursing him — simply just with him BEING. And I realized that must be how God feels about us, delighting in our being, not trying to earn His delight by doing and serving and working and proving.
He will quiet you with His love, 
When he would get fussy or sad, I would gently shush him and pat him, reassuring him of my presence and that he’s going to be okay. This is quieting with love!
He will rejoice over you with singing. 
Sometimes when I am simply looking at and loving him, I would get so overjoyed that I couldn’t contain my heart. I would just erupt with singing and song would burst forth!


All of this 



God does 



Over you 



Just because 



You’re His.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Endearment

  • First week of February: We have a friend visit for a day; attend a house dedication party; and, host a small Super Bowl party.
  • Second week of February: We had friends join us for dinner, and I put together a “Sip and See” for a close friend to celebrate the birth of her sixth child :)
  • Third week of February: Friends from our old church in Wilmington who are now missionaries (Timothy Two Project) stopped by for a quick visit; my parents visit for a long weekend to celebrate Aolani’s eighth birthday, and they let Ricky and I go to the chiropractor and to the movie theater for a late Valentine date ;)
  • Fourth week of February: We had friends over for dinner; Ricky had to work out of county four days and I had friends stop by periodically to check on us, and Aolani cooked all of our meals :) ; Ricky’s dad and brother visited to celebrate Aolani; and, we went to our small group meeting.
  • Raphael has the oddest sleeping schedule! He will not go bed before we do and needs to fall asleep with us and in our bed. But once he’s asleep, he sleeps for 12 hours straight! This means he sleeps from midnight to noon! He might take a good nap in the afternoon and little catnaps during the evening until bedtime:) He often pumps his right leg when he is excited, and we call him “thumper”. He really enjoys having his diaper changed, laughing with us, and singing with me ;)
  • Micaiah lost his 2nd tooth, the real way this time (it was loose). I am often commenting to people about the four rolls on each of Raphael’s thighs. One day, I overheard Micaiah jovially telling someone about the baby’s four chubby thighs ;) Another time, Micaiah was passing out little pieces of his bread and telling us that it was for sermon (communion)! After explaining to him how most wars are tragic and devastating, Micaiah added, “But some wars end happy because of Aslan. And god is all-powerful!"
  • Aolani is such an awesome help with Raphael, from changing diapers to playing with him! She even goes around the house wearing a “nursing cover “ pretending to nurse her baby (stuffed animal Sarah).
  • The kids love their new chores for the year!
  • School verses: Micaiah -- 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Exodus 20:8-10, Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 3:5-6 ; Aolani -- Psalms 40:1-2, Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mouths, Eyes, & Hearts Wide Open

  • First week of January: We started schooling again after a 12-week break; a friend visits overnight; and, we got to go a really neat (free) Compassion event with another family!
  • Second week of  January: My mom visited and did life with us — had one of my high school teachers that I was close to over for lunch, had some friends over for dinner and games, and visited our dear Romanian friends. 
  • Third week of  January: A normal week! Ricky did get to share about the Persecuted Church at our church this week; he usually does every four months :) 
  • Fourth week of  January: We had a busy week of hospitality! We had friends over for dinner twice, had a visitor for lunch, and hosted our church’s mission committee meeting. And, I turned 18 years old, spiritually ;)
  • School verses: Micaiah -- John 3:7, Matthew 6:24, Psalm 89:8, Ephesians 6:11 ; Aolani -- Psalms 46:1-2 & 62:1-2

Monday, January 29, 2018

Health Update


Symptometry —

Since I wrote a year ago:

[Recap: I had started taking molecules to improve circulation the last days of 2016, and they helped!]

However, we felt like we should get pregnant, and I could no longer take those molecules as they were not safe for pregnancy. I had to focus strictly on taking particulates and molecules for the baby. 

Then over the summer, I felt God urging me to stop taking the particulates and molecules from my Symptometry treatment. So I did.

We still try to eat scientifically as we feel better when we do.

I am regressing more quickly now than I did when I took the Symptometry treatment. I guess the treatment was slowing down my deterioration more than we realized. But I’m not going to start back and disobey God unless He directs me to begin again.

We do not know all of His reasons and purposes for directing me to stop after leading us to be on it for almost four years. However, we both feel as if my healing is coming swiftly, and last summer I began to feel His jealousy to receive ALL of the glory for my healing...


Restless Legs (RLS) — 

Right after birth I was able to decrease the amount of my prescription drug by a third!

Not wanting to take any medication, I started taking the L-Dopa supplement (naturally occurring in the velvet bean). I think it helps because I am now able to not routinely use the drug!

However, my legs get restless (and sometimes my arms) if I nurse in bed at night (clearly it’s hormone-related for me). So, we try to arrange my sleep with the baby’s 8-hour chunk to avoid breastfeeding in bed and interrupting my sleep.

Also, I am taking a warm soak every night before bed (it warms and relaxes my legs and gives me a quiet time to pray, recite Scripture, and talk to Ricky).

This whole routine is fairly new, so we are still working it all out. But now, my RLS is better than it was before I got pregnant, thanks to God for providing the L-Dopa :)