Sunday, April 30, 2006

Blessed Sunday

I forgot to mention that the new set-up for the 2/3 year olds Children Church began today. I was so excited and nervous that I was at church at 8 to set up. Turns out that a week of not using a room leads to mustyness (is that a word?), mold, and dead cockroaches. YUCK! But we managed to get it clean enough to use today and will be even cleaner next Sunday.

We had a GREAT time. God was truly a part of this ministry today. We had 6 students and they ALL sang and repeated scripture with me! Ahhhh.... I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I was. There was only one incident and that involved an unwillingness to share but I simply said, "If you cannot share, I will put it away for today." and boom... she passed the ball. LOL I have two, two year olds who's vocabulary is limited but they both joined in singing Jesus Loves Me and danced to the other songs. I have two, very shy girls who TALKED! I couldn't believe it. And I have one boy who quoted the scripture to me at the end of our time. WOW.... God is so good! I am so looking forward to next week and will be sad to hand over the teaching to others in June. LOL

Just a little LO I quickly made this evening so you can see who is involved in the CC ministries. Please pray for these children!

After today, I have another million thoughts running through my head on how to make the room more child friendly but unfortunately that will come in time. We are still in need of toys (how cool is this... the two things I wanted were riding toys and blocks and we got both but too many blocks!) and our own crayons but the children seemed pleased with what was available.

So today... memory verse. Next week... puppets!

Isabella, on the other hand, had a rough Sunday. Poor sleeping habits yesterday and an early morning led to a very tired girl. We ended up coming home after church and she took a good long nap. Hopefully tomorrow she'll get all caught up and back to a normal schedule.

I was going to write about our trip today but I've already managed to write a book so once again I will leave that until tomorrow. Instead I will show you some more pictures and some scripture layouts that I've created for a book I'm making for Isabella's 1st birthday.

Isabella enjoying her Banana, Pineapple and Yogurt Shake

Monkey Island

Daddy and Isabella at Monkey Island

Saturday, April 29, 2006

~We're Home~

What an escape from the real world! We were blessed beyond measure with this holiday. God allowed us to rest, be pampered, be challenged, to explore, and at the end of it all... be reminded of His promises.

What a wonderful time we had as a family! Details to come...

{Too funny... I tried to post once while in Thailand but it didn't work. However, it just decided to work now so enjoy a few details early.}

Monday, April 24, 2006

~Greetings from Thailand~

Sawadee Ka!

While Mike is checking out some things he bought at the famous Night Market of Hua Hin, I thought I would blog about the awesome time we are having and the amazing ways God has blessed us on our trip so far.

Let me begin by saying how brave (not sure if brave is the correct word... maybe crazy or foolish would be better) we must have been to make reservations at a place we've never heard of, been to, or known anyone else that's been to. I also consider us a bit brave (there's that word again) to make flight reservations on Sri Lankan airlines. I must admit I was a bit nervous getting on that plane but left feeling humbled about my cultural sensitivity. God blessed us with wonderful service and Isabella walked away with her own little packet of food, diapers, wipes, and toys! I would definitely fly with them again.

We had a bit of adventure on our ride from Bangkok to Dolphin Bay when our van broke down about 45 minutes north of the resort. Our driver spoke VERY little English so we didn't really understand what was going on but we put two and two together when we were told... 'please wait 10 minutes' and another Dolphin Bay vehicle pulled up. So we got to our room about 1:30am.

Monday morning we awoke to a beautiful resort. Outside our door were the two pools and to the right a view of the bay. The buffet breakfast was incredible... omelets, freshly made bread, fresh fruit, pineapple juice (there goes my good eating habits.. we get to enjoy this everyday!) After breakfast we explored the beach, play area, and grassy fields. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in the beach. It's not exactly a swimming type beach like I expected. Being a bay the waves are tiny and the sand isn't exactly easy on the feet but it's still beautiful and we've enjoyed a little wadding. This resort is set away from the city and is incredibly peaceful. After our trip into Hua Hin this evening, we were grateful that we didn't stay in the city. Dolphin Bay has caused us to just sit and relax and enjoy each other. Had we been in the city, we would've felt like we had to be 'doing' something all the time.

On our first day I enjoyed a pedicure, Mike a massage and we all had fruity drinks by the pool. Total spent including lunch and dinner... about $25! How cool is that!

Today Mike went Kayaking and we're planning trips to the National Park and an elephant ride. I also have plans for a mani/pedicure before we leave! LOL At $4 total you can't beat that!

Our market trip this evening was so fun. We walked away with a ton of stuff and spent very little. We got lots of movies, a Burberry purse (don't really know the name but I'm told it's a big one... LOL) some lamps, coasters, place mats, computer software, a belt, 2 books, and a gorgeous vase. WOW~ We may have to buy another bag to bring all this back. LOL

So anyway... it's been a GREAT trip! Isabella and I love having Daddy around all the time and it's so great to be outside. For my own sake (so that I don't forget anything) I'm going to list some other neat blessings from above...

~SEEING STARS (you really don't know what you're missing until you see it again)
~listening to crickets
~beautiful weather
~good food... good THAI food (Love this stuff)
~being served
~less people

I know there's a lot that I'm missing but I'm tired and think I'll go to bed now.

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Expectations and Book Report

Probably over a month ago, I had a wonderful conversation with my MIL about being a Pastor's wife. I think I have posted about this before so I'll simply refresh my main thought. She challenged me not to put the title 'Pastors Wife' on myself but rather think of myself as another woman in the church who is involved in ministry. To think this way takes off pressure to 'do' everything and allows you to freely minister in the way God has gifted you.

I love this thought process but I also believe that being a Christian already puts expectations on my life. I'm expected to love, forgive, accept, give, etc... and that's okay because that's how God's Word tells us to live. I've also learned that being in ministry also adds expectations because you are in a leadership position. People look up to you and watch your actions, whether you want them to or not.

Thinking through that aspect reminds me that I need to daily be seeking Christ in all my thoughts and actions. I need to be doing what God wants me to do and not others and I need to be setting the example of Christ. And that's why this book, 'Big Girls don't Whine,' has had such an impact on who I am.

It challenges me to grow up and grow out of these immature qualities that set a bad example for Christ and even fellow Christians. I want those watching (without my knowing) my life to be able to see Christ in all that I do. I don't want to second guess my actions/words of the day and I don't want to have any regrets.

This book has really helped me to look at life in a different way, to find joy in different situations and be happy and content in who God created me to be as well as stepping up to the plate and doing some things or thinking some ways that take effort. That's a lot of things for just one book to cover but it does. Relationships, marriage, motherhood, etc...

Seriously though... it's a great book and can change you dramatically IF you are WILLING to let God WORK in you. If anyone reads this book (big girls don't whine by Jan Silvious), I would love to hear your take on it!

Now... I feel like I just wrote a book report. LOL

Here's a simple example on how it makes me think differently than I have in the past...
Today I had a lot of errands to run before (1:30pm... my choice) but as I was quickly walking from the 7Eleven to the ATM, I was struck by an insight (hold on this is a big one....) just because I'm in a hurry doesn't mean that everyone else is! I know shocker eh? But this is my train of thought now... it's not about me and life doesn't revolve around me. I continued thinking and realized that I have no reason to get frustrated or angry at the people in front of me who are taking a leisurely stroll or window shopping because if I want to be honest about it... it's my fault for waiting until the last day to run these errands. So instead of getting frustrated... I took a deep breathe and enjoyed the walk on a gorgeous, sunny day with the most precious little girl ever!

And with that I'm off to Thailand for some R&R, fun in the sun, sand in the toes... you get the idea. LOL

'See' you next week!

Friday, April 21, 2006

More pics and random thoughts

More pictures from the park yesterday...

Isabella's bedroom is TINY but we managed to fit her crib, a small wardrobe, a small shelving unit, and an Ikea rocking chair. A lot to squeeze in but you do what you can when you don't have closet space. Anyway... her latest 'quirk' is to climb inbetween the shelving unit and rocking chair and squat. It's the cutest thing ever! (I say that about a lot of things but she IS the cutest girl alive! LOL) Her climbing skills have majorly improved and she tested them out on a little table/chairs set that we bought her before she was even born and her 'Learning Table' out in the living room. Most people probably would consider me crazy in the fact that I'll let her do this but I figure she'd try it anyway and I'd rather her know how to do it without falling/hurting herself. Then I don't have to worry every time she tries to climb something. She's really getting the hang of getting up and down by herself (aka climbing but I feel like I used that word a lot already), making her Daddy VERY proud.

We have two very special treats coming to us this June... Sarah and John Anderson! They are students from MN and we are SO excited that they'll be here for about 2 1/2 weeks! I've got to get busy planning all the fun things we'll do. LOL

We leave TOMORROW!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? I just can't wait to wake up to a view of the beach/mountains and hopefully some dolphins! I'll probably come back with 5000 pictures but that's okay... more to scrap with.

And speaking of scrapping...

Gotta love my Yankee Babe!

Random thought... today I found this poem:

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs,
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles,
And rolls on the rug.
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

and thought it was cute so I memorized it and used it as a game with Isabella. Each time we 'played' she just smiled and giggled. Really warmed my heart.

Now if only I could memorize scripture that easily. I've been known to make up songs or acronymns to help myself remember things (like shopping lists) but I can never do that with scripture either.

Would love to hear some of your memorization tips/ideas!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lots o pictures!

I still have quite a few things I want to get done before bed so this will be brief with lots of pictures!

Haze? Pollution? If you didn't know HK Island exsisted you would have thought our building was right along the ocean. It was so hazy and polluted that you couldn't even see the buildings across the harbour! Amazing...

We've lost some clothing... we take some things to laundry service because they dry everything and after airing out a few times our clothing stretches and we need to get it back into shape. LOL However, I discovered yesterday that the last time we did this we didn't get all of our clothing back. The owner said he'd look for them but doubt he'll find them anywhere. What to do now... hmmm.

Only 1 1/2 more days until we leave for Thailand!!!!!!!!!! So excited! And how perfect timing this is because Mike's current class (and last one until mid-June) ends this weekend so he'll really be able to rest. Yeah!

So on to the pictures. Seriously... our daughter is interested in nothing but climbing. Today she managed to climb up the steeper slide and while at home she climbed all over me, the couch, and her bigger toys. We better find a flat with lots of space or she'll go stir crazy! LOL

We had tons of fun at the park today and here are some of my favorite pictures. There's a few more but I'll have to post them tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Best Aspect

Victoria Feemster's Midnight Tea paperpack and Andrea Burns' All that glitters and flowers

I was looking through some of my old photos and found these three and just starting laughing. Our daughter has the cutest expressions.

So we found out today that we may not have the flat. It seems there is someone who can give a 'yes' right now and the owner doesn't want to risk us not being able to move in at the right time. We're still waiting to hear from our landlord so we're praying really hard. Wow.. I never expected this to be such an adventure. But God knows we need a place and what we need and will provide in His perfect timing.

Today we did a market run and it was quite successful! We all found several things for our trip to Thailand... some shirts for Mike, another bathing suit for Isabella and a dress for me. I'm nervous about this dress. It's so different than what I'm used to wearing but it's pretty and will force me to buy a new pair of shoes. LOL I guess Reef flip-flops just won't cut it! While I waited for Mike to meet me, we took a break at the Kowloon Walled City Park (a former slum city that Jackie Pollinger ministered to.) It was a beautiful park and of course Isabella had fun crawling around. I gave her something new today... mango juice... and she LOVED it. She kept coming back to me for more. It was just adorable. Funny thing though... we bought her a cup with a straw and she won't drink out of it. She'll only drink from an adult straw. LOL She definitely has her quirks at only 11 months.

So I was introduced to a Christian Women's Blog ring today and I was so excited. I love to read about what others are learning and grow from their experiences and was thrilled to find this. However, just minutes after finding the ring and joining, I got an email from the founder of this ministry asking if I would mind her posting some of my LO's in her magazine! How cool is that! Of course she can use them.... what an honor! The magazine is awesome too... you should check it out. The site is...

Big Girl thoughts~
I just finished the Big Girl Wives chapter and it's incredible. It talked about significance, submission, independence, etc. These sentences caught my attention... "...the man and woman are to be complementary of one another. Where he is weak, she can be strong, and vice versa. A wife is given to the man to complete him, not compete with him. If she is going to be a completer, then she needs to recognize her own competency and insights that she brings to the table. A Big Girl believes that she can be one of the best assets her husband has, and she works to be just that. She also gives credit to assets of his that enhance her life."
I thought about this because I realized that to be a wife who complements her husband I need to be confident in who God has created me to be and be confident in the gifts He has given me. I struggle in this area because I always doubt my abilities and how effective I can be. Especially in a new situation... like moving to HK. I felt that I had really developed in MN but feel that I've somewhat reverted back to my insecurities. I also realized that reverting back doesn't just affect me, it affects my marriage and daughter and it's something I need to work. It's funny that this chapter brought these things up because Saturday morning during our Ash service, God was telling me the same thing. One thing I struggle with her is my music abilities... mainly because everyone here plays something and does it well and it's been months since I've been able to do much of anything. But I believe God has given me that talent and that He's asked me to use it for His glory so I need to be confident in what He has called me to do.
I moved on to the discussion questions in the back of the book and I really liked these questions...
What is the best aspect of your marriage?
How can this aspect inspire you toward an even stronger, closer relationship?

I think that one of the best aspects of our marriage is our dependence upon God. We both seek really hard to follow Him and His leading for our lives and I feel that's why we've had some awesome experiences and have grown from some very difficult ones. From an outsiders perspective, we could have easily given up on ministry, we could easily live closer to family, we could easily make more money (LOL) but deep down we know that we'd be miserable. We made the decision almost 5yrs ago (probably even longer than that) not to put God in a box and tell Him 'our' plans but wait on Him and see what He had for us. Because of that decision, we've never left ministry, we've never lived close to family, and never made the millions we'd like (LOL) but we've been blessed beyond measure. We have family all over the world, we've never gone hungry (although there were a few times in AL that we thought we might lol), and we've seen God work in miraculous ways!

Our dependence on God inspires a closer relationship because we know that the closer we are to Him, the stronger, healthier our marriage will be. We'll grow out of those little girl(boy) qualities as we grow in our personal relationship with the Lord which in turn benefits our marriage.

What about you? What is your marriage's best aspect?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I think we may have a winner!

This may be a long post so beware. I missed yesterday so not only do I have to journal about the weekend but Mon and Tues as well. LOL

Well... the weekend was awesome. I wasn't able to participate much but the few things I did were wonderful and the times Isabella slept and I couldn't go far, I took time to read my book and magazine and was challenged more than I have space to share. Anyway... I wish I could show the video that Brian put together for our 'Ash' service. It was simple yet powerful and made me think about the meaning of ashes. Having them put on your head signifies your repentance before God and Ash Wednesday is a day to contemplate your sins and mourn over them. So often we just say.. "Okay God, I'm sorry. Please forgive me." without really taking the time to think about what we've done and therefore often repeat those sins. This service forced us to take time to mourn over our sins which was something I've never really done before but was so awesome to experience. The sunrise service was great although it was so cloudy we couldn't actually see the sun rise. LOL It was awesome to sing praises to God and to take time to focus on His death and celebrate His resurrection. Our students seemed to enjoy themselves but didn't quite understand all that we did. That's okay though because we know they will continue to think about it. An awesome thing that came out of this retreat is that one of our students, who was actually made to come, was excited to talk about doing our own youth group retreat. We have been trying to get her involved without luck but it seems that maybe we've had a breakthrough!

We all crashed and slept most of Sunday afternoon and just relaxed into Monday. We met Sammy, our real-estate agent, Monday afternoon to see some flats and I think we have a winner! It has most of the qualities we were looking for and on top of that a VERY western OVEN! It's very spacious, with big windows, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It's a smaller and little older complex but our neighbors below us have grass! We won't have our own but to even see grass here is amazing so we will certainly enjoy the treat! Now we just have to wait and pray that someone will take our flat by the 1st of June.

Our flat would be the empty one on the left... first floor but it's actually the second.. I just couldn't get the whole building in the pic.

Today I wore Isabella out! We were outside pretty much all day and if you've seen her in action, you know she keeps busy crawling and climbing everywhere. At our second playground we met a girl named Min Ju (have no idea if this is the correct spelling but it's how you would say it). She is Korean, temporarily living in HK, 4yrs old and speaks wonderful English. She kept Isabella busy for over an hour and she was quite the talker. It was so much fun playing with her and watching her care for Isabella. She asked me to please bring her back often to that playground because she lived right next to it and wanted to see her grow up. I also met another little boy who was a little over one but no one in the family spoke English. Those interactions are always harder because I never know what to say but he must have liked me because he gave me several big hugs. Made me smile.

So after a busy day crawling around, Isabella was quite dirty so a bath was in order. We put bubbles in and gave her a bubble tiara as you can see in the photo. She went down without a peep. Hopefully that means she'll be out until late tomorrow! LOL! Now I'm busy working on her birthday plans. I can't believe my baby is turning 1!

I'll have to post a few of the things from my book that really stuck out to me another day but I will leave you with two quotes to think about...

"You have to open your mouth and say what you want. Your husband is not telepathic."
"We do things in spite of, not because of."

Sunday, April 16, 2006


This morning we celebrated our Risen Lord as we watched the sun rise over Cheung Chau Island with our students. What a tremendous visual reminder of Christ's victory over darkness and sin. He is Risen... Risen Indeed!

This is one of my favorite songs to sing on Easter Sunday. Really forces me to stop and reflect on what Christ went through for me and how I should respond.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrificed them to His blood

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ere such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
that were a present far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul my life my all

Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near
And bless Your name

How exciting it is to rejoice in our Savior and His victory!

Here's our little bunny wishing you a blessed Easter holiday!

Friday, April 14, 2006

And we're off....

We leave in about 1hr for our 'Empty' retreat. I know that I won't get to participate too much with Isabella attending as well but I'm still stoked... (yes I said stoked for you Lem fans out there) about it. I just know God is going to do some neat things. It's such a different retreat that focuses on being alone with God. We are having a prayer labyrinth, stations of the cross, sunrise service, etc. Here's a link to a video that we used for promotion purposes...

Anyway... it'll be weird not being in 'church' for Easter Sunday but I'd rather be together as a family on this special day. I hope you all can take the time to reflect on meaning of Easter... not only Christ's death but His resurrection. I think we often forget that aspect of Easter. What amazing love that Christ would die for us but how incredible for Him to rise again showing us that He conqueared death once and for all... for all those that believe in Him. Takes my breath away each time I think about it. And what's even cooler... is that He did this for ______ (insert your name). Re-read that and place your name in that sentence. Now take a moment and reflect on that. How can you be thankful for Him today?

give me an "I"

I love to include Isabella's initial on all of her layouts. Sometimes it's very obvious and other times I just try and hide it somewhere. However... I run into a problem... most alphas have a lower case i rather than a capital. Makes sense... it's a vowel and I don't mind all the time. But there are definitely times, I would perfer a captial so I decided to make my own. What do you think? I think I'll keep playing around with 'I' and see what else I can come up with. LOL

Thursday, April 13, 2006

There's nothing like...

construction to get you out of the flat. I'm amazed that Isabella can still nap during this. It's constant noise from about 9am until 5pm when they HAVE to stop. Constant pounding and drilling... gives me a headache if we are home too long. But it's good too because it forces us to get out.

Mike bought me a subscription to a new magazine, Radiant (the women's version of Relevant), and I just received my first copy. As I was reading it last night, this article 'Soul Connections... developing deep, life changing relationships' really touched me and of course... made me think. This section spoke to me so much that I just had to post it here.

"It's risky business to put yourself on the line for another. To pursue true friendship means opening yourself to vulnerability. It also means pursuing relationships with a greater intensity than you're comfortable with."
"For me a true friendship is marked by mutual respect and a desire to serve one another and bear each other's burdens. Not all people have the capacity or desire for deep relationships. But as Christians it's our right to love people as Christ loved them and not to be afriad of getting burned. Whatever direction the relationship takes us, we can know that when we invest our hearts and time, God will produce fruit and make us more like Christ in the process."
It takes time and effort to cultivate a relationship, traveler and journalist Brenda Plonis says. Taking time for a friend is a true sacrifice for many of us, but one that we're called to make, and one that we'll benefit from in the long run. Leo Buscaglia, author of Living, Loving and Learning, says, 'Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.'
...her relationship with God is really the root of who she is. "Everything stems from it-the way I treat people, the way I react and respond, all reflects on my spiritual life. You can conceal it for a little while (fake it till you make it), but eventually, reality surfaces, and then you find yourself in a worse place than before because now you really don't know who you are."

Being in ministry it often seems so hard to have good, deep friendships... at least for me. In 5yrs we've moved three times and each time, we knew no one. Each time, it took me awhile to build good friendships and once I did, God moved us elsewhere. But it never struck me as something that's my 'right' as a Christian or that through my relationships, "God will produce fruit and make us more like Christ in the process." As I reflected on this, I realized how true it is and how I've changed because I've made the effort to build relationships. While what I previously wrote may be very frustrating at times, it has also been so good for me. I've learned that I need to be willing to put forth effort if deep friendships is what I'm desiring and not expect people to come to me. It's caused me to step out of my comfort zone and out of my shell a bit too. It hasn't been easy but it's been so worth it. And now not only do I have friends in HK, I have friends all around the world. So I guess, I say all that to say how blessed I am to have the 'right' to love people as Christ loves them. It also was a great reminder that the way I treat people, the way I react and the way I respond to others is a direct reflection of my personal relationshp with Christ. I think that's something I need to write on my hand (lol) so that I'll always stop and think before I speak/do.

Things for our new Children's Church set-up are falling into place and I'm so excited. Someone donated some couches and Mike so generously mopped the floor so now we just need to find some floor mats (mine disappeared somewhere) and some ways to make the room a little more inviting to children. Should be fun though.

We leave tomorrow for our retreat and I'm excited to get away. Please, please pray for good weather. This is such a different retreat that I'm anxious to see how God works. We have two students that we've really been trying to reach out to going along with with 7 other core students. I just know God's going to do some neat things.

With the majority of this post being relationship focused... I challenge you to send an email/e-card/phone call... whatever... to someone you want to invest in. Someone that you have the 'right' to love, someone that's worth being burned over, someone that causes you to be vulnerable and see how God changes you.

Grins and Giggles and big Belly laughs.... that's Isabella in a nutshell especially the night we took these pictures!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


My day always starts off great when I roll over and the clock says it's 8am or later. LOL This is two days in a row. Makes up for the fact that it takes me hours to fall asleep now. Not sure what the deal is with that but it may have to due with my hubby tickling me and talking so much! (just kidding! had to put that in there for him... i'm the one who gets the giggles and decides to ask thought provoking questions at the worst times possible!)

We met Cindy and Lillian for lunch at Fridays and then for some shopping at the Esprit outlet. I can always find a bargain there and I got a great skirt and a pair of pants that I just love. (Thinking of going back to see if they have them in other colors. LOL) I was looking for a fun beachy dress to wear in Thailand but no luck. Anyway... it was really good to spend some time with the two of them. Isabella was trying to entertain Lillian and really got her to smile. It was so cute but again I forgot my camera.

We took a walk, as a family, to Pacific Coffee for a chillino before Mike had prayer meeting and then to Jusco to find a straw cup for Isabella. Finally.. we had luck. It's so funny to me that she can drink from a straw but not a sippy cup.

One of my assignments for scrapping was to use this paperpack from Andrea Burns that includes all the months. I struggled at first on how I was going to use them and then these words just came to mind. "Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Happy, Sad, Cranky, Sick, I will love you, 365, 24/7, in all circumstances for you are a gift from God." I knew immediately I wanted to scrap this picture of Mike. I just love it. It's just him being himself. So once I had the idea in my head.. the LO came together pretty quickly. It's very different from my normal scrapping style but I just love it.

So my thought for the day has been... if God tells you to do something, does Satan turn around and make you have doubts? For example, if you have been praying about a ministry opportunity and out of the blue you get what you think is the perfect idea which you feel is God leading you... but later that day you begin to doubt your feelings and think... man that's a stupid idea. Is that Satan placing doubt in your mind? Or is that stopping you from doing something you want to rather than what God wants you to?

Now... off to read my book.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blessings and More pictures

Isabella woke up at 6:30 but I asked Mike if we could let her cry a bit and see if she fell back to sleep. I guess it worked because the next time I looked at the clock it was 8:30. I could hardly believe it. How awesome to have your first blessing of the day to come the minute you wake up!

After her morning nap, I took Isabella to the play room and she had a blast climbing the playground equipment and playing with some other little girls. It was quite crowded today... the students are out of school for spring break so many came there to release some energy. We stayed for about an hour and then we hung out on the promenade where I got some more adorable pictures. Our daughter truly loves being outside and her smiles make that obvious. She took an incredible afternoon nap which allowed me to exercise, get dinner ready, and pick up a bit as well.

A huge blessing today was Isabella's happiness. She's not the best sleeper but when she has good nights and good naps, she's amazingly cheerful and gliggly. (Doubt that's a word but tha's the best way to describe it.) Today was one of those days and we had a wonderful day today playing and singing. She also took a significant number of steps this evening and we caught all of it on video. Now we just have to work on our web-site so that you can see her too.

We talked with our landlord today and he told us that he would talk to his agent and we could move whenever he gets a new renter. This was exciting to us because Laguna Verde is becoming quite the place to live and we feel it won't take long to find someone. The agent also called us and is showing Mike some flats tomorrow. So... we could have a new place and be moved in a short time! We are really thrilled on how this is all working out. It can be hard to place your complete trust in the Lord but every time I do, I'm amazed at how He works out the details.

Tomorrow we meet Cindy and Lillian for lunch and that will be fun and this weekend I've decided to go to the Empty retreat. I don't know how involved I will get to be but at least we'll be able to get away for a few days. It's on an island that doesn't allow cars so there's lots of walking and beaches to play on. Please pray for good weather!

Oh almost forgot... a big Thank You goes out to Margie (choose the way) for the sweetest comment on her blog. I was so surprised and honored about the kind things you said. What a great thing to brighten someones day!

Here is my one piece of wisdom to pass on. Proverbs 3:5,6
The journaling reads:
This became my life verse the summer I spent in China. I spent 6
weeks with 12 college students I had never met teaching English
in a country I knew nothing about. I left the states very
immature and childish in my faith but returned completely changed.
I discovered what it was like to put my complete trust in the Lord,
what it was like to be confident in who God created me to be, and
what it was like to let God guide my life.

This verse teaches us a way to live life to where we can enjoy it
to the fullest. Nothing is more fulfilling than a personal
relationship with Jesus Chirst. It sets us free from trying to
please others, to plan out the details of our lives, from making
mistakes that have a negative effect on our lives. It allows us to
be who we are, experience true joy, and gives us peace in trying

May you learn the truths and promises of this verse early in life
that you never have to question who you are and what your purpose in
life is.

Used Andrea Victoria's Blueblush, Sara Carlings In the Garden, Christy Lyle's A Mother's Love

Monday, April 10, 2006

Of all days....

to forget my camera... I would have had some of the cutest photos yesterday. Mike dressed Isabella for church in the most darling dress and I didn't get any pictures of her AND some students joined us for dinner and on the way to Outback, Isabella held David's hand (as she sat in the stroller) the whole way! It was priceless! I'm so bummed that I missed these wonderful photo opportunities.

Other than missing these pictures... Sunday was a great day. I was able to play on the worship team and even participate a bit in Sunday School. I'm always thankful for these opportunities because they just don't happen as often as I'm used to. Lunch with our students was awesome and Isabella had her first meal off of a menu. Mac n' Cheese Our evening was restful until we went grocery shopping. Isabella and Daddy were playing and she accidentally poked him in the eye. You wouldn't think that was a major thing but her nails were a bit long and she ended up cutting Mike's eye.

PTL for our Dr who got him an appointment today. He had to wear a patch for a few hours and has some drops to put in but besides the constant watering... he'll be okay. Please pray for him though... this makes him very sensitive to any type of light and besides work he also has a rough draft to be completed for his grad school.

We had our family dinner with Brian tonight which of course is always fun. We watched Anchorman and I must admit... it's quite funny. I found myself laughing as much as I do when I watch Bruce Almighty.

More on the book I'm reading... I just have to post this paragraph because it's so thought provoking if you take it seriously. I read it last night and will probably re-read it a few more times to grasp all that it has to offer.

"The tongue is one of the first markers of maturity. If you want to give yourself a personal maturity check-up, you can begin by listening to yourself. How do you speak? What is the tone of what you say? Do you sound the way you want to sound, or do you sound like a whiny girl? Your words are a dead giveaway, especially if you are tired, hungry, or just plain ticked. Little-Girl speech can be defined as saying what you want to say, when you want to say it, to whomever you want to say it. It takes no one else into consideration. It is speech that is useful to achieve certain kinds of short-term goals, but in the long term, it is always costly. The Little Girl in you will want to be heard and may blurt out things she really doesn't mean. With practice, you might even recognize what's happening and hear yourself say, 'Where did that come from?' Well my dear, it came from you, your will, and your emtions."

This book is just incredible. I've mentioned this before but if you are truly seeking to grow in who God has created you to be... READ THIS! It's so challenging but so freeing as well. If your heart is right... it helps point out areas in your life that desperately need changing but is also encouraging to see the type of life you can live by becoming a 'Big Girl.' It doesn't beat you down either but motivates you on this journey and helps you to understand that yes, you can do it but only with God's help. I'm enjoying this book so much. It's hard because I see myself in a lot of these examples but I'm encouraged to learn that I can overcome these bad habits.

Thanks to those that answered my question. I loved hearing your pieces of wisdom!

Well... it's late and Isabella is getting up super early (well at least for me) these days. It's hard to believe it's Easter week already. Brings so many thoughts to mind but I'll leave those for another day.

Hope your Monday is filled with Joy!

A fun picture I took today.

Andrea Burns' Robins Nest Kit

Julie Howard's Mudslide Kit

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Short and sweet

Surprisingly, I don't have much to say today. Another pretty day out but other than a trip to buy some flowers and pick up our laundry, I spent most of the day laying around. Not feeling good... terrible upset stomach, lightheaded, shaky... I think it's the beginning of a migrane but not sure. Hope I feel better in the morning because I get to play and sing am I'm super excited about this. I get to attend the actual service two Sunday's in a row! Yeah!

Thought/question for the day?
If you could pass one thing on to your children... a piece of wisdom that you hope they would never forget... what would it be? I'll send a little something Chinese to the first person to respond. LOL

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 07, 2006


Aghhhh.... what a waste of a morning! I was so frustrated as we looked at flats. When I made the call last night, I told them our price limit and what I found on their website and they said okay, they would take us to the two flats. Turns out the price on the internet was an old 'bait and switch' (to get people to look) and they wanted well over 2,000$ more than we could afford. On top of that... they showed us the same exact flat that Mike had seen a few weeks ago! It was so frustrating because the one that Mike saw is one we both liked and had the amenities I would like and I was thrilled thinking we could afford this.... only to learn the truth. So... now I feel pressured. I don't want to lose the option of this 'big' flat but I still want to look.

We had revolve at our place tonight and I was just thrilled. I put Isabella to bed early so I could participate in the discussion without worrying about her and I'm so glad I did. We talked about friendship and it was so neat to discuss this with our students. We have very bright students who are good thinkers and I was able to throw out a few questions to challenge them as well as to hear their thoughts. One question was: Is it right for Christians to be seeking attention? We talked about how some Christians do sinful things for attention and as their friends, how do we 'in love' show them and help them through this. One student suggested that maybe they are starving for attention and that we should give attention to the positive aspects of their lives and that's when I asked if it was right for Christians to be seeking attention? My reason for asking this is because I find myself at times looking for attention and it's at those times that I realize my relationship with the Lord is struggling. I find that I don't need 'attention' from others when I'm focused on Christ because I see my importance and identity in Him.

Another thought came up about what happens that first time you see/talk to someone after you have confronted that person... usually awkwardness. Another student said, "Yeah... I've heard about that before. That's why when I've been in that situation, I usually make an effort to see/talk to them right away so that awkwardness doesn't end our friendship." What an incredible attitude to take! You making the effort to show that person you truly do care about them and what you said wasn't from a spiteful attitude or heart.

Another comment this same student shared was this... 'When someone is seeking attention, others know it but it's when someone isn't seeking that attention that others look up to them and have respect." Wow... this is coming from a high-school student. This statement has really made me think this evening... thinking about my words and actions. I don't want to be a person that people think 'there she goes again... looking for attention.' I don't want to be a person who is seeking the attention of others. I want to be confident in my relationship with God so much so that I can completely and utterly say my identity is in Him. The one who has saved my soul, the one who gives me peace, joy, love. The one who, as we celebrate very soon, died on the cross so that I may have a personal relationship with Him and spend eternity in Heaven.

There was some good discussion this evening and I was impressed by how Mike challenged these students to be the type of friend that they would expect in return. I don't think friendship or how to be a good friend is a subject that's discussed very often. It seems like it should be so easy and natural but it's not. Friendship is just like marriage. It takes a lot of work but when you've made the effort you have friends that will last a lifetime. And not just the surface level friendships most of us probably have that you 'catch up' with each time you see them but deep, solid, support groups that as my book would say are "Big Girl" friendships. I know I have work to do in this department but I'm truly blessed to say that I have two lifetime friends (and man am I missing you!)

Isabella update... she's taking more steps! I learned a new trick to help her out and she took three solid, balanced steps this evening. Now... I'm working with her with the video camera in hand so that I won't miss the first significant amount of steps.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

God Stories & Questions

Yep... the temperature has risen, the humidity increased, and the air con is on.

I just have to share this story. It's not mine, it's my sisters but it's an awesome story of God at work. They have been blessed in so many ways over the past few years and this most recent story just amazes me.

Scott's (her hubby) car pretty much died. They had put so much work into it already that they decided just to get a new one instead of fixing it again. They set a budget and started looking for the right car. They found one, a PT Cruiser, and at the last minute Scott backed out. Turns out it was the right decision because as they chatted with my Dad (who had a PT Cruiser) they found out he had traded his in. Then they found a car on ebay but again... last minute backed out. Then the Pastor at my Mom's church found out they were looking and offered to sell them his for $500 cheaper than they budgeted. So they decided to jump on this opportunity but when they called no one answered. Turns out this was another blessing! A couple in their church contacted them that day and shared how they had decided to get a new car and after praying about... they decided to GIVE their mini-van to Erin and Scott! GIVE IT!!!!!! How amazing is that? My jaw just dropped as my sister was telling me this story. I told her I hoped she was writing this down because not only have they received this awesome blessing, there have been two other amazing things have happened in the past few years. When Erin was due with Laurel, she decided to use her vacation time so that she could have a longer maternity leave. It turns out her boss told her that as long as she would work a couple hours a day, she could work from home and receive full pay and not use any of her vacation time! And... that same boss not only sold her a car (when her's died) but gave her a raise so that in the end she was only paying about $15 a month! Just amazing... just shows that God meets our needs in ways we could never dream of!

Nothing serious but we're checking out one (hopefully two) flats tomorrow. According to the info I have, they meet all the requirements I've posted in previous emails but being that we still have about 3 months before we can move we don't know how realistic it is to get these. I'm praying for a miracle! One of these is the exact place we had hoped to live from the beginning and the other says it's located right next to a park and mountains (yeah.) We need to make a decision on the 'big' flat by next Wed so please pray for wisdom.

We had a good day... nothing too exciting although we did have dinner with Ed and Sharon and that was fun. We discussed a lot of ministry things and one part of our discussion made me think. I would love to hear opinions from you based on my following thoughts and questions...

We were discussing the importance of sharing God's love and how we are to live our lives. I totally agree that our lives should reflect God's love and that we should be sharing our faith. However... I've been thinking about the living our lives aspect. As Christians, what is our purpose? Is it not to share the gospel with others? If so, are we being selfish when we choose to fulfill our desires verses investing in the kingdom of God? For example... Mike and I like to go hiking. Is it wrong for us to spend a day hiking when we know there are so many people here who need Jesus? This has my brain working hard. I want my Lord to say to me... "Well done, my good and faithful servant." and I want to make a difference for Him. So do I need to be re-evaluating my life and actions? Makes me question how selfish I truly am and why I do the things I do. If only my brain would stop working... lol. No that's not true.. if my brain stops working, I stop learning and I desire to learn and grow daily in my knowledge of God.

Isabella is so close to walking it's scary! She's standing up on her own and you can just see the determination in her eyes to put one foot in front of the other. I'm convinced (as others have shared with me) that she's not going to start walking, she's going to be running! She already moves quickly when she's holding onto something.. can't imagine once she lets go. Exciting times here... I won't have to worry about exercising this summer. She'll keep me hopping. LOL

~May you see God at work in your life today~

So many blessings=long post

I didn't realize it was another red day today until yesterday so what a great treat to have Mike home with us for the day. We were kinda lazy and just hung around the flat most of the day. Mike did meet a friend for coffee and I took Isabella to the playgrounds but that was about it. We've been out every day for the past 4 days so I thought it was best to get Isabella to bed on time for a change.

So some cool things happened today... I got in contact with two of my fellow Camp China teachers! It turns out our friends Chris and Athania (HK friends) are good friends with Jared (who I taught English with a few years ago at a summer English Camp.) I was looking at their (C&A) web-site and they had a link to Jared's site. When I got onto his, I found the email address of my team leader Amy! So I sent them both an email and I already heard back from Amy! I can't tell you how exciting this is for me. I often think about my teammates and now I know at least where two of them are.

I met a little boy named Ray today. He was really proud of his English skills (he's Japanese) so he told me all about the school he attends. He enjoyed talking with us so much that he walked us back to our building when it was time to eat dinner. I told him that we come to the playgrounds pretty often so to look for us the next time he was out riding his scooter. He was so excited. LOL

I ran into the pregnant lady again and AGAIN forgot to ask her name. Grrr... but I did think to ask where she lived. Here's praying I run into her one more time before she has the baby.

So I have a fearless daughter at 10 months... that's a bit scary for me but forces me to put even more trust in our loving God. Today she managed to climb up onto the slide and then proceded to climb the whole way to the top of it... without any help from me. I couldn't believe it. My baby's growing so fast! Got some cute pictures out of our adventure today though.

Exciting news... We're headed to THAILAND!!!!!!!! Finally, all the details have come together and we leave the 22nd. Am so excited. You have to check out this resort It's so family friendly and perfect for the Rose's. Swimming, hiking, good food.... ahhh can't wait!

Decided to revamp my blog a bit. I was motivated by Margie (choose the way) to make a new header and once I made that, I thought a new template would be nice too. It's so nice to be able to change this so quickly and easy.

One final thought... been reading more of my book and these two statements caught my attention.
1. You can always add to a conversation at the appropriate time, but you never can erase the words once spoken.
Yikes... but so true. I used to just open my mouth and spill and because of that I've hurt and been hurt by people. Made me question why we often don't think before we speak or the saying 'it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission.' If you think about it really, it's just asking for problems. I think I need to grow in this area and become more like our former pastor, Bob. He always listened before speaking and you knew he was praying the whole time for the right words to say because when he would speak, wisdom and encouragement would just spill out.

2. Big Girls can see more than one side to any situation.
Another yikes... although I like to think I've really grown in this area. I used to really struggle with this and it caused me quite a lot of problems when I first became a Christ follower. It was always very easy for me to take sides with someone based on what they just told me... never considering the other person's feelings. Now... I listen and consider the 'other side.' This is not always easy because you always want to support those that you love but I feel this quality is important in a solid friendship. Why? Because you know you can share your heart and your friend will be honest with you. They'll sympathize with your feelings but not immediately agree with you without helping you talk though the 'other side.' They can help you to see where you may be wrong too. My friend Rachel is incredible at this and I pray that I've grown and will continue to grow in this area.

And now the book has ended.

Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Decisions... please pray for me

I never in my life thought choosing where we lived would be so hard. I think what makes it so hard is the budget we are on. To get what we need, we need to move further out away from the city. Which is totally cool with me... means less people (is that really possible in HK?) more space, and cleaner air (again.. I often wonder how this is possible but anyway...). But the problem lies in time and amenities... the amount of travel time increases and amenities decrease. We found this absolutely, incredible flat. It's just gorgeous... beautiful wood carvings on the doors, the trim is beautiful as well, the layout is fantastic, the size incredible, windows to die for and some wonderful views as well. Location... perfect for all of our students, close to the KCR, not too far away from church (so that's a blessing), peaceful... set away from the city. The only negative lies in the amenities. There is a small outdoor playground, small indoor playroom, and gym but no pool. I struggle with this... mainly because I have great amenities right now and I worry about them not being available (even the size of the play areas) and how I will entertain Isabella. I worry about the ease of what we have now and what life will be like without that.

So I'm busy doing some research. Researching playgroups in that area, children's classes like Kindermusik, parks and playgrounds, pool memberships, ect. I'm praying that I will find exactly what I'm looking for because I really do love this flat but I'm nervous. Ahhh... please pray for me. I don't want to be greedy but I want to be realistic as well.

Maybe I should make a list of the pros/cons here and any readers can feel free to post your opinions....

Pros-Excellent location for our students
Large Flat
Just a short bus ride from the KCR
Great views of mountains
Not too far from church or school where Mike's office is
Set away from the rush of the city
Hiking is pretty close
Can rent bicycles at KCR station
Less people

Cons-Small bathtubs
Small play areas
No pool
Shopping is not within walking distance (well it is but more like 15 minutes compared to our 2 minutes now)
Walks around our complex would be on a sidewalk next to a road versus our promenade right now
Less people (may be harder to meet people)

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts.... I know what way I'm leaning but I'm still nervous.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Isabella after she succesfully climbed up and over me to get her pacifier.

So I'm watching Ladder 49 right now and my heart is just dropping. I decided to start my post because I can't handle really paying attention to what is going on. Wow... another good movie and one that you should watch to learn more about how people live their lives but one I wouldn't watch again.

Today was a special day at church because we celebrated our 1yr Anniversary as a branch church. To add to our celebration we had 3 baptisms. That's always such a blessing to watch people publicly commit their lives to the Lord. We had our lunch bunch at a Thai restaurant and it was great food and fun fellowship even though Isabella was a handful. She is really struggling with allergies and today was just too long of a day for her. Poor thing took a nap and once she woke up she wouldn't go to anyone but me and wouldn't let me put her down at all. So we decided to take a walk and by the time we came back it was dinner, bath and bed time. Poor thing... tomorrow will be a better day. How can it not be? Daddy's home.

The youth worship team asked me to play (piano) with them and I was thrilled. I haven't played since Christmas and I miss it so much. As I was walking home after practice I was amazed by the calmness of the harbour and the amount of families on the promenade. This scene made HK seem so peaceful and unhurried. Made me chuckle because once you take about 100ft inwards you see the gobs of people rushing from store to store.

So I'm reading this book (see previous post) and it's just great! I've already read bits and pieces but I'm going back to read from start to finish and there were a couple of statements that really caught my attention.

1. You will never be able to count all of God's thoughts toward you! You are loved beyond all knowing.
Wow... to know I'm loved that much, even through all the good and bad of me, is hard to comprehend. But it's so true. God loves us unconditionally and wants us to have a relationship with Him. This applies to you reading this right now... do you have a relationship with the one that loves you so?

2. Until you take responsibility for yourself, you cannot become all God hopes you will be.
Another wow... made me really think about if I take responsibility for who I am and what I do/say. Also made me think about if I don't take responsibility... why don't I. Do I not want to admit something? Am I not aware of another?

3. Making the choice to pursue maturity can fix a lot of what is broken in your life, even when you don't recognize your brokenness.
This statement stuck out because of the word 'choice'. I've been realizing more and more that life is about choices. I can chose to be happy, grumpy, follow God, rebel, etc. So now I can chose to be mature and by making this choice, I can grow and chisel away at the rough edges. You may say 'well duh' but sometimes it takes me awhile to put two and two together and this statement helped me do that. I want to be mature... a Big Girl as the book describes so now I need to be honest with myself on the little girl qualities that need to go.

I also realized one more thing today... I don't have that 'one' person (okay I have Mike but I mean a girl... sometimes I think you just need a girl for some things) who could come out and tell me 'you're wrong... are you sure about that... think about it this way...". Someone that I know would do it out of love and desire to help me grow. I realized how important that is because I'm sure there are times where I can't see the negative in my attitude/words/actions but others could see it and I don't want to be that kind of person. I want to be joyful, positive and always seeking to serve others. Hmmm... will have to pray about this but I do have someone in mind.

Well... those are my thoughts today. I find myself (since starting this blog and knowing that I'm going to post something each evening) looking for things to learn each day. What a great thing the blog has been for me! Who knew?

I'll leave you with this quote....

"While others may argue about whether the world ends with a bang or a whimper, I just want to make sure mine doesn't end with a whine." ~Barbara Gordon

Saturday, April 01, 2006

And the word of the day is..... "MUM"

Here are some of the pictures from yesterday's playdate with Kinley and Amy. Again... Victoria Feemster's Blossom Kit... just love the colors! (If you click on the picture it'll come up a bit bigger.)

Wow an incredible for me today! Isabella clearly said 'Mum' and on occassion 'mama'. I'm sure you moms can relate to this experience but wow... that can make any day the greatest.

We had another fun day. We took a walk in the park, played on the playground and then had lunch at McDonalds. Isabella is struggling with her allergies (runny nose and cough) so I didn't attempt the bunny pictures. It would be more fun with Mike anyway and now I can get some daddy and daughter pictures too. Mike came home early and we all took a walk down to TST and tried to eat at a restaurant that overlooks the harbour but we were told 'all full' when we could clearly see at least 3 tables available. So we were bummed but came home and had pizza instead. It all worked out though because it saved us some money and allowed Isabella to get a head start on her night. I try to get her to bed earlier on Saturdays because of the long day on Sunday. She coughed all night long last night so I'm praying she has a better night tonight.

Tomorrow we have 'lunch bunch' with our students so that will be fun and another day I don't have to cook! Yeah... actually I do like to cook but I hate deciding on what to have. LOL Monday, Mike has graciously offered me some 'me' time since he was able to go the Rugby 7's last night and today... so I'm busy trying to decided what I want to do. Speaking of the Rugby 7's... Mike has an amazing God story that he's going to share on his blog (so I won't tell here) so you MUST check it out (it's the mysterious.truth on the left) in the next couple of days.

Well... I think I'm going to take a nice relaxing bath and continue to read a great book that my MIL gave me called 'big girls don't whine... getting on with the great life God intends' by Jan Silvious. It has a funny title but as my MIL described it best... it's about living the sanctified life. It really is a good book and I would encourage ANY lady to read it!