Just One of His Kids

My husband is in Haiti this week.  On his first day in the country, he witnessed an awful fatal accident, learned that the rumors about protests and political unrest were true, and found out that a large amount of the people who were coming to their training seminar would not be able to make it.  Not the greatest day for him.  I did what I normally do when my heart is burdened, got the word out to friends who pray.

Guess what happened!  Things started to turn around.  We were worried about the announcement of the presidential election results, and how that would affect getting out of the country.  Well, the announcement was postponed until after my husband leaves the country!  And, not only that but the talk of protesting and violence has quieted down.  We were worried about how they had to cancel the last day of the seminar because of low attendance, but instead, God gave them an opportunity to work in a tent city with kids!  He emailed that it was such a great time.  The kids loved the games and made connections with some of the seminar students.  How incredible is that?

One of the seminar students working with the kids

 

But, do you know what my first thought was?  I felt silly for emailing all those people on Tuesday.  I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but I thought, “Oh no, I didn’t have to bother all those people.”  When in actuality, things probably turned around because all those “bothered” people were praying.  How stuck I get in my own self, and idea of self-sufficiency!

Well, after I laughed with God about my crazy human short-sightedness, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  In the midst of busy schedules and the rush of everyday life, friends and family came before the throne of God to ask on our behalf.  And, then the God of the universe answered our prayers!  Ha, doesn’t that just floor you sometimes?

My ridiculousness humbled me.  It showed me that no matter how old I get and how many things I get to participate in with God, I am still just a dumb kid that needs the correction of a Heavenly Father.  Oh, what incredible patience He has with me! With all of us. (:

If you are a person who prays, would you consider lifting up Haiti today?  There are still so many needs and so much instability.  And, if you would like to hear about the work my husband is involved in, you can go to www.carecorps.org.

 

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New Mercies

I’m sitting here at my desk looking out on a bright and shiny new day, full of sunshine and promise.  Brand new mercies are ready to be unwrapped.  Yesterday was a roller coaster of a day.  I  was so afraid I was going to forget, or lose something, that I clung so tightly to all of its different parts.  When I got into bed, they were so embedded in me that I made room for them between sheets and pillows, mistaking them for identity.  But, all the rough and stressful parts of yesterday have fallen off in the bright sunshine of today.

I sit with light shoulders asking My Father to protect me from my over eager burden collecting.  I am aware that the obstacles of this day may demand more agility than my self-imposed burden carrying can muster.  Sitting at His feet, I recognize the bare nakedness of intimacy, the lightness of being close.  And, He whispers, “My yoke is easy.  My burden is light.”

After I wrote this post in the wee hours of the morning, I learned about the She Speaks Conference.   “She Speaks Conference is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God.”  This lovely lady has an opportunity to win a scholarship to attend.  So I am linking up here, and think that you maybe you should too!

 

tiny little bottles!

I found these little guys a long time ago in a market in Moscow.  I can remember the guy that was selling them.  He had a wooden trunk lined with small wooden shelves and on the shelves stood hundreds of tiny glass bottles.  I loved all of them!

If I had, had room in my luggage, I would have bought more.  He told me they were antiques.  Showed me special markings.  He raised the prices.  We haggled.  He wanted to impress me.  He didn’t know I was already in love.

It’s been 10 years.  They are travelers. They have lived in at least 8 different homes.  They always stick together.  They are transparent and fragile, but have never broken.  They stand as a reminder to me.

Time for another Round

What’s in the case?

This is the game where I put random objects (of which, I have many) in a cute little white case and people guess what they are.

Here is the case, with its objects safely locked inside.  Can you figure it out?  I’ll give you a couple of hints.  You have already seen these.  No, not the buttons.  Not in the case.  You’ve seen these here on the blog, sort of.  You’ve also seen them if you have ever been in a bathroom of mine.  (From Virginia to California, actually even before that)  Start the guessing!

I’ll be back later today to post the inside pictures.  Good luck.

 

some monday celebrations

Photo credit: here

It’s Monday morning, and I am starting a week of single parenting.  My husband is in another country.  This means I have to do things I don’t normally do.  Read: Kristy is spoiled rotten by her husband.

My list of things to celebrate so far:

I got the recycling to the curb in time!  I totally forgot to put it out last night, oops.

The timer on the coffeemaker worked!  I have tried to make this happen for the husband’s last 2 or 3 trips.  This is monumental, people.

We are on Spring Break!  Whew, no schoolbooks for this mama.

I could bore you with other things, like the fact that I remembered to get and take my own vitamin last night, but that would only show you what an awful grownup I am, and how much my husband has to keep me accountable to doing the normal things that adult human beings do.  So, I won’t bore you with all the ways that I have surprised myself over the last two days, instead I will tell you that my “Other People’s Words” today come from the apostle Paul:

“Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.  Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

Good words for a mom doing it on her own today.  It’s not just about me and my inability to make my own coffee. (:  Hoping to embrace real love today.  Also embracing lots of movie watching, fun sewing projects, and not cooking.

 

P.S.  Thank you so much for putting up with me and this blog.  I am still working on the appearance and content.  I am such a newbie, trying to figure things out.  I do have some exciting things planned and I’m working on them as we speak.  I’m just slow.  And, indecisive.  And, a perfectionist.

 

Community on the train

Last weekend, our family went to the other side of town to go to a festival.  We decided to take the light rail because we thought it would make for a more fun experience.  Somewhere along the line, I must have forgotten how motion sick I get on those things.  Hahaha.  It was still very fun.  With every stop, more and more people got on, talking about the festival that we were going to.  The train filled to uncomfortable proportions, and we all looked, knowingly, at each other.  Yes, we are going all the way to the end of the line.  By the time we made it to our destination, anticipation had risen.  We were going to a party.  And, it was going to be fun!

We always tell the kids things are better when shared.  Meals tastes yummier.  New toys are more fun.  And, as it turns out, the same is true of festivals and light rails!

The best part of our day, however, was on the train ride home.  We were exhausted.  We squished into an already full train, knowing from our previous ride that everyone was going to go the whole way.  This train would only get more full.

Well, we started out okay, both the 9 yr. old and the 5 yr. old wanted to stand.  They thought it was fun to try and surf with no hands.  Of course, this only lasted for about two stops.  Then the littlest wanted to be held.  My husband tried to explain why that would be a really bad idea on a packed, moving train, but she was not understanding.  It was going on 10 o’clock and she just wanted to lay down.  At one of the stops, a large group got off and through the shifting of bodies, we saw what looked like some empty seats.  My husband wove through the crowded aisle to try to get a seat for the little one.  Once they got there, they found a little family had gotten there first.  In the empty seat was sitting a boy, about 11yrs. old.  He looked up and saw my husband with our daughter, and said, “Do you want this seat?”

It was so sweet, and so gentlemanly of him.  The whole back of the train took notice.  A sweet homeless man, sitting in the back row with his friend, turned to the boy’s mother and said loudly, “You have a good boy.  That’s a good boy there.  Mom, you have a good boy.”

My husband turned to agree with the gentleman in the backseat, and started a conversation that would last all the way ’til the end of the line.  They started talking about kids and manners.  He made fun of the balloons tied to my husband’s backpack.  “Look at this guy, he knows because he’s got balloons!”  It was funny and endearing.

Then, they talked about the festival.  And, they talked about church.  Then he introduced the gentleman sitting next to him and the three of them started discussing things.

I found out later, remember, I was standing back in the midst of the crowd, trying not to throw up on anyone, that the loud cheerful gentleman was telling my husband, “This guy,” his quieter friend, “he has it bad.  His wife is dead.  He’s living in a shelter.”

“And, my dog died.” the quiet one added.  They went on discussing the hardships of life until my husband asked if he could pray with him.

“Oh, yeah.  I’m Roman Catholic, let’s do,  the Our Father,” so they prayed the Lord’s prayer in the back of the crowded light rail.  Then my husband said, “Would it be okay to pray a special prayer?  Can I pray a special prayer for you now?”  And, he laid all the hardships and the sorrows of this man’s life down before our Heavenly Father.  When they were done praying, the gentlemen started asking questions about the Bible, and why there are different churches, and what the different churches believe.  Every once and a while, I would hear a hearty, “‘Cause this guy knows, he’s got the balloons!” followed by laughter.

They communed like this all the way until the end of the line.  It was a sweet, sweet time of sharing hearts and life.  It was the fun kind of community that our fast paced, individual lives don’t always permit us.  It started with an 11yr. old boy who was willing to give up his seat.  Then was added to by a kind gentleman, who was concerned for his friend.  Then a goofy looking guy with balloons tied to his backpack offered to pray.  Things are better when shared.  Seats.  Light rails.  Life.

 

Some Favorites from Miss Emily

Photo credit: here

For Poetry, this term, we’ve been studying Emily Dickinson.  When we read through her poems, I get a little excited, and the kids tell me to calm myself down.  Your life probably does not require you to read Miss Emily’s poetry during the day, so I picked out a few favorites for you to enjoy.

A Book

There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toll;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

 

I’m Nobody!  Who are you?

I’m nobody!  Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there’s a pair of us–don’t tell!

They’d banish us, you know.

 

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

 

Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

 

And sweetest in the gale is hear;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

 

 

I am way too entertained by this

First, I need to tell you that I went to bed at 8:30 last night!  What in the world?  And, then slept in.  I might be three years old.  But, then, I wouldn’t have slept in.  And, I would have wanted Lucky Charms for breakfast.  Okay, I’m not a three year old.  I am ridiculous, however.

Photo credit: here

Do you have a Netflix account?  Do you love it as much as I do?  I don’t watch TV very much.  But, on the weekends, or on sick days, or when the kids are napping, I find a movie on Netflix to watch.  I pretend it’s my DVR.  I don’t have one of those things.

So, Netflix does this thing where they try to anticipate the kinds of movies you would like to watch, based on the movies you have watched.  (Did that make sense?)  The best part about this is that they make up genres for you.  This can be so fun!  And, so flattering.  Or not.  I started writing down the ridiculous ones.  Warning: Once you read them, you will forever judge my taste in movies.  I’m okay with that.

 

Understated Indie Roadtrip Movies

Acclaimed Foreign Movies about Marriage

Romantic Foreign Dramas

Quirky Independent Comedies

Heartfelt Movies Based on a Book

Goofy Showbiz Movies

Sports Dramas based on real life

Movies with a Strong Female Lead

 

Okay, the last three genres popped up based on my family’s choices.  I cannot claim to be that normal.  I did want to watch Rudy, though.  I also cried.

Does your Netflix account give you funny genre titles?  Do you love them as much as I do?

 

Dwelling

Mondays are the days that I focus on Other People’s Words.  My thoughts, on a Monday morning, probably should not be shared.  It’s safer this way.  And, way less annoying for you. (:

This morning, I had a lovely time with Henri Nouwen.  He taught me again, through his book, In the Name of Jesus, what it truly means to be a leader.  I pulled out one of my favorites for you:

If there is any focus that the Christian leader of the future will need, it is the discipline of dwelling in the presence of the One who keeps asking us, “Do you love me?  Do you love me?  Do you love me?”  It is the discipline of contemplative prayer.  Through contemplative prayer we can keep ourselves from being pulled from one urgent issue to another and from becoming strangers to our own and God’s heart.  Contemplative prayer keeps us  home, rooted and safe, even when we are on the road, moving from place to place, and often surrounded by sounds of violence and war.  Contemplative prayer deepens in us the knowledge that we are already free, that we already found a place to dwell, that we already belong to God, even though everything and everyone around us keeps suggesting the opposite.

We are already free.  You have already found a place to dwell.  As your day comes at you with full force, and interrupts all that you had intended to do, I hope and pray that you will be home, safe and sound, in His presence.

“Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4