Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Turn of Head

Buried in blankets... hiding myself from the world on the other side.
One word, one decision, one turn of head... changes everything.
Ever wished you could take something back?
Something you had said, or had done?
Or simply a careless look, a facial expression?
Ever wished you could take it back?

As you look upon those you love today - choose your words carefully.
To build... up!
To esteem... highly!
To cherish... greatly!
To honor... always!

As you look upon those you love today -
My prayer for you is
that you will live without regrets.

Monday, December 20, 2010

One Thousand Gifts - #72-77

Patty with some kids at her Sidewalk Sunday School site

 Many of us have heroes, people we want to be like.  We read about their qualities in books, admire them.  Allow me to ask you today, have you ever wanted to be like someone you personally met?  Have you ever desperately desired to develop the qualities you see someone execute daily in front of your very own eyes?  I could never say that before.  Now I can.

I am grateful that God has given me an opportunity to work with this woman over the course of 2010.  That was probably the biggest unexpected blessing in my life.  I have watched her respond with grace always.  I have watched her have positive attitude always.  I have watched her show gratitude always.  I have watched her serve... selflessly... always.  I have seen Christ in her attitude and her actions.  I desire that people can say the same about me one day.

Her journey continues.  Next  month she will be packing her things and going back to her home country of Mexico.  Please pray for her.

I am grateful for:

72 - Patty and the time I had to spend with her
73 - finding the last jar of my mom's homemade raspberry jam to help me fight sickness
74 - having a bed
75 - friends who brought medicine, shared the burden of cleaning, covered my work load, and called to check up on me
76 - friends who prayed for me
77 - orange juice

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The End

I woke up this morning   afternoon   evening to a strange realization.

Fall Semester 2010 has come to an end.

Spending last two days of it in bed with fever definitely made my finish line somewhat anticlimactic.  I did not get a chance to say a proper good-bye to the interns or enjoy the grandeur of the last Christmas sessions in Sunday School.

But despite my sickness, despite the struggles we faced this semester - it has all been worth it.

Metro Internship - Graduating Class Fall 2010
Happy kids after our Christmas Stocking Give-Away

Many came to hear the story of Jesus on the last day of Sunday School

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Change of Plans

On Saturday, January 8th, Change of Plans is premiering on Fox.  It is a story of a young family who is faced with a choice to take in four children whose parents died. If you would like to read a review - you can find one here. Also if you have a minute hop over to check out the homepage for Change of Plans.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet?

Impatiently, I look at the clock of my life, ticking away... quietly... steadily...

When will I finally arrive?

When will I finally learn the easy way?

When will I be everything that You have created me?

Are we there yet?

I often wish I were perfect.  I wish I could know everything, do everything right, always say the right things, and always be in tune with the Holy Spirit.  I see the years of my life slipping by... almost unnoticed in the general rush of life... and I wonder how long it will take me to get to that place.

As a little child to whom an hour's trip feels like eternity... I grow impatient.

And you, my friend?

Are you growing impatient also?

One truth we must remember as we grow uneasy in our passenger seats... He knows where He is taking us...  and He knows exactly how to get there.

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Thousand Gifts - #60-71

I am sorry we have not kept you up to date on our ministry adventures.  Thanksgiving and Christmas season  are so busy here.  Soon and very soon many of you will receive a newsletter from us in your inbox (and if you're not getting one and would like one - just leave me a comment with your email address).

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the last week of Fall Semester 2010.  Only one more week of Sidewalk Sunday School left.  I am grateful for the team I've worked with this semester.  These wonderful people have great hearts.

Kat (Germany), Susi (Germany), Janelle (Canada), Ken (USA), Helen (Belarus), Bryan (USA)
Patricia (Mexico), Hayley (UK)

My list of gratitude continues...
- free customized Christmas stations at pandora.com
- resolved disagreements
- smell of evergreen filling my living room
- cancellations that give me a few extra hours to catch up on things
- anticipation of family coming to visit for the holidays
- that my husband is still my knight in shining armor
- ingenious idea to use earl grey in cookies
- Christmas markets where such cookies are sold
- people who inspire me to be better
- that I am not very technical and gadget-y
- and that I am totally cool with it

Monday, December 6, 2010

One Thousand Gifts - #56-59

They asked Jesus, 
“Do you hear what these children are saying?”
   “Yes,” Jesus replied. 
“Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? 
For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants 
to give you praise.’”

(Matthew 21:16)

This video was taken 2 days ago in our Preschool Class.  We had over 400 preschoolers (ages 3-6) singing to the Lord.

Today I am grateful for:
- raised hands
- and lifted voices in praise to our God
- warm flannel PJ's
- hearing my husband open the front door

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

She Asked "WHY?"

I had a conversation with a childhood friend the other day.

I mentioned to her that we want to adopt.

She asked, "WHY?"

I have no answer that I feel would be suffice.  How can I explain that longing?

And as I try... awkwardly... I am realizing that the concept of adoption is radically counter-cultural for Belarus.  Seen as the absolute last resort even after the option of simply not having any children adoption is a foreign concept to many Belarusians (especially those not of the household of faith).

And yet I know that tides turn and a few committed people can make all the difference.  Please watch this video of the adoption explosion in a small Ukrainian town of Slavyansk.

If it can happen there - I know the time for Belarus is coming!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Others Are Re-Thinking Too

I am encouraged today by finding these two posts (here and here) by precious dear women who are also doing Christmas differently.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Search of a Perfect Gift

A lot of Christmas season stress and anxiety comes from the pressure of having to find great gifts for family and friends without having to empty out your bank account or plunging into credit card debt.

A gift giving tradition on Christmas comes from the 3 wise men who brought gifts to Jesus, comes from the understanding that Jesus Himself was a gift to our fallen humankind.  Today however it has become a heavy burden to many.

One thing that we have done in our family to make Christmas more meaningful is... my husband and I will not be buying each other Christmas gifts this year... [gasp].  There I've said it! No Christmas gifts between us! And oh the freedom that comes with it!  On Thanksgiving Day we (as a family) have picked a missionary who will receive a Christmas blessing from us instead.  And this Christmas instead of running around in search for the biggest discount - we will pray and be at peace.

What will you do this Christmas to simplify and de-stress?
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