Monday, July 31, 2006


Okay here it is... the almost completed first kit I've designed. What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions and comments... I can take constructive criticism. Well.. as long as it's done in love. LOL

It's almost one so I'm not going to write anything else today but let me just share how wonderful today turned out to be! A confrontation (hate that word... sounds so mean but that's what is was ... not mean but dealing with something... anyway... I'm rambling) that went really well, being a part of the complete service and then to be able to attend the Filipino fellowship, dinner with Uncle Dan and Auntie Geeta and a visit from our neighbors! It was a great day! I hope everyone's Sunday is as blessed as mine was!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tried something new...

Well I had hoped to share more pictures but alas... at least I got one to work. LOL Here is a preview of a kit that I'm working on. I decided to try my hand at creating a whole kit and so far these are the papers I've come up with. A little worn and distressed inspired by one of Izzy's outfits. Ideas I have for elements... stamped frames, barcodes, patch, brush, etc... if you are a scrapper and would like to share your opinions... I'd love to hear them!

Life has been pretty boring since the family left and thanks to the rain. I felt terrible today because Isabella would just stand by the door with her shoes but there was no place to go... it poured a good bit of the day. Hopefully tomorrow will clear up a bit so I can take her to the park. At least she'll be able to go to the nursery. She just loves it there and I feel so blessed that she goes (well most days) without a fight. The last time I took her up there, I put her down and off she went from one toy to the next like she owned the place.

Isabella has finally picked up on the sign language! {Can't remember if I've shared this before so bear with me. lol} Her first word.... Please. I'm so excited. I've read that at 8 months a baby can pick it up but I guess we didn't push hard enough because she picked it up within a week of doing it everytime she asked for something. Now we're working on Thank You but it's a bit confusing to her because we've just taught her to blow kisses (Grandma was the first to receive one!) and thank you is very similar. Oh well...

I think she's feeling pretty good for the most part... still a little clingy and she doesn't seem to be fully rested (still coughing at night) but her energy is definitely back! And she's discovered that she really likes to play on the kitchen counter. Though there's not much space... it is convienent for me because it allows me to get the dishes done. She'll either sit on the counter or stand on a chair next to me and pretend to help. She has become quite the little helper. She's obsessed with Grandpa's window mop and walks around mopping the floor. She's also quite attached to a bunny that plays 'Jesus Loves Me'. I can't complain about listening to that. She just walks around hugging it and begging me to press the button.

Well... it's late already and will be a long day tomorrow. As long as Izzy co-operates we'll be attending the Filippino Fellowship! I'm SO excited... and Mike gets to speak so that will be fun as well.

Please pray for Isabella that she will continue to feel better and for Mike and I. There have been some challenging situations in our lives over the past few weeks and we could use an extra prayer or two. (smiles) Thanks to all who read this to catch up on our lives and pray for us. Mom shared a few names and it really blessed my heart to hear how much you all care.

Have a blessed Saturday!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Yeah it's working!

Well finally! I've been trying to blog for days but our internet has been going crazy. So much to catch up on... so you might want to grab your cup of coffee and a comfy seat. LOL

What We've Been Up To

Friday--I finally got my hair cut! Mike and I left early morning for my appointment and afterwards had breakfast at Cafe O's before meeting Mom, Dad and Isabella. Then we headed off to Stanley market for shopping and dinner. We tried a new restaurant and was quite pleased. The service, price and view were all excellent. It was a great shopping day as well. I believe Mom got about all she was looking for (and even got them to bargain with her) and I got myself a skirt and a HK t-shirt for my niece. When I talked to her on my birthday she shared how she was currently wearing her HK shirt but that it was getting too small and had a few holes in it. So when I hinted at buying her a new one she precisely said... "I wear a size 5T." LOL

This is the beginning of Stanely Market

Saturday--Thursday and Friday were busy and long walking days so everyone was pretty tired on today. So we just stayed in and rested our weary bodies.

Sunday--Mom shared with the 2/3 year olds this morning and it was such a blessing. She brought foam hats for them to decorate with stickers and our memory verse. The hats were a bit hit. After church we had dinner with Pastor Ed and Sharon at Harbour Plaza Buffet and that evening Mike and I went on a date! We decided to go see Superman Returns and I was pleastantly suprised. I'm not big into superhero movies and actually really didn't want to see the movie but we are very limited and Mike really wanted to see this so that's what we decided on. Anyway... I loved it! I was really impressed with the music and special effects however, the plane scene was a little too realistic for me.

Monday--Mark and Isabella Taylor (and their girls) invited us for lunch in Sai Kung today. They live in one of the most beautiful areas of HK and had planned on taking us out on a boat to see some of the outlaying islands but it was rainy. We still enjoyed a HUGE lunch and the fellowship afterwards.

Tuesday--Today was 'last minute sights' day. We went to the Jade Market and made one last trip to Fa Yuen St Market for some pillows. Mom bargained really well and got an incredible deal on some beautiful Jade jewelry and some chinese pillows and I even got a free tissue box cover. LOL We had french bread pizzas (delish!) for dinner and Stewart joined us. He's such a fun guy with so many stories! The big story that awed me this time was climbing Mt. Fuji.

Wednesday--This was the day we all dreaded.. saying good-bye. Mom and Dad flew out about 4pm so we were able to enjoy a good bit of the day together. It always stinks saying good-bye but we are very grateful that they were able to visit.

Something that I realized as we got on the Airport Express Train was that I was able to enjoy every single minute with them without dwelling on the fact that they would have to return to the states. This is something that I've struggled with since moving to AL (so about 5yrs) and quite an issue of mine. I would literally dwell on leaving the minute I arrived to visit. I was horrible with good-byes and would struggle the first few days after leaving my family. I could tell that God had been working in my life in Feb when the good-byes went a bit easier but I knew on Wed that God had freed me from this struggle. Yes, I had moments where I was sad they would have to leave in a few days but NOTHING like I've ever experienced in the past. What a release for me! Praise God!

So now it's Thursday and time to say good-bye again. This time to Chris and Athania (fellow Youth Pastor and Wife). We've really enjoyed getting to know them this past year and will miss them as they return to the states for Seminary but one awesome thing is that Athania is from HK so we will definately see them again! They took us to an incredible restaurant for Dim Sum and I think it's the best Chinese food I've had since moving. We were so bummed we didn't know about this place before Mom and Dad came but we definately put it on the list for the next visit. It was great!

After saying good-bye we headed off to the Dr's. Isabella caught what we thought was a cold but she hadn't improved so we thought it was time to see the Dr. Turns out she had tonsilitis (sp?). So once again... she's on an anitbiotic, running nose, sputum, bronchial, and anti-flammatory meds plus her normal singulair. Bless her little heart but I praise God that she takes the medicine wonderfully.

It's so strange not having plans or other people to talk to after two weeks of family and fun. I guess it's time to get back into our normal routine (if there really is one. lol)

I've been learning a lot about photoshop over the past few days so be on the lookout (well those of you who are fellow digiscrappers) for some new designs! LOL However, this the latest wordart I've created for Liddys Loft.

Remember that contest I was going to enter? Well... here is one of the lo's that I made for it. I just love how it turned out... simple but elegant and not too girly... at least I think so. LOL

Meredith Fenwick's Personality Collection & the '&' is from Andrea Burns Lucky Boy

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bring it on God!

Darn blogger... no pictures again. Oh well... I have enough to share so to add lots of pics on top would make this post even longer. LOL

I have SO enjoyed my time with Mom and Dad Rose. I have learned so much and have been so blessed by their visit. They are two of the godliest people I know and have wisdom I only dream about. They have been incredible listeners but have also challenged us in our own personal walks with Jesus.

Last night was just amazing. They always pray with us before they leave and we always do it a few days before hand so the emotions aren't running wild. LOL So last night was the night.... it started with, 'How can I pray for you?' and ended a few hours later in sweet fellowship of praying for each other. We have done some amazing things while here, there are a lot of memories to treasure, but nothing will stick out more than last night. I have never felt so confident in the presence of the Lord, never so encouraged about motherhood, ministry and life in general, never challenged so much to press on and serve the Lord with all I've got. It was so amazing that at one point I pulled out my notebook and starting taking notes on all that everyone shared. How many times can I say it was AMAZING before I annoy you? LOL They have been such an example to me about what it means to be godly parents and ministers in Christ. They have been through difficult times but they have always sought the Lord and have been so graceful in how they handle those situations. I only pray that I can have their discernment, patience, love, and wisdom. Dover Alliance is a blessed church.

They gave us a fun question to consider... 'If we were looking for a church (as in lay-people not ministry) what would we look for in that church?' We haven't had that option since college and it was really fun to think about. We shared our ideas but I would love to hear what draws you to your church?

Although our conversation ended, my brain didn't stop thinking and God showed me how negative I can be sometimes. I'm rarely (or at least I certainly try to be) negative about life with other people but I do tend to vent to Mike everything that frustrates me, or that I don't understand or whatever. And I realized how I don't want to be that kind of person. I want to be able to see the positive and get excited about the challenges I may face. Mike's message for youthgroup was about 'serving others' and before that he asked for volunteers for our children's VBS in a few weeks. I could sense the 'oh do I have too?' in our students and it made me think. First, I realize that no teen wants their summer sleep disturbed and like teens anywhere, their world revolves around them. But secondly, do I have that kind of attitude? Do I gripe, even if it's to Mike, about being asked to serve others? And if I do, why? Why do I feel I have the right to complain about anything? And I realized that my complaining is due to the perspective I take on life. I may not be happy about what has been asked of or told to me, I may have a million other things to do, I may... I may... I may... but how am I looking at the situation? Am I grateful to serve someone? Am I grateful to serve God? Can I get excited about something that causes me to step way beyond my comfort zone? It's all a choice I make. So I made a vow today with God and with Mike that I will be more positive, not complain so much and make the choice to look at life in the right perspective.

I am so excited right now! Excited about what God is going to do in my life because He has really been working hard and chiseling away at the negatives in my life. Excited about what God has planned for our ministry here in HK. Just excited to dig deeper into His word and learn more. It's been awhile since I've had this much passion and desire... the last few months before moving and first few after moving were such a challenge for me that I was basically surviving... but now I'm a bit more confident, a bit more trusting and I have a ton more faith and I owe that all to God and His working in my heart.

So bring it on! I'm enjoying (ok well not always but I know it's necessary) the chiseling and excited about the new Me that's developing.

I have a lot to share about what we've done for the past few days but tomorrow's another busy day and I want to get some sleep! LOL

I hope everyone has a wonderful, God-filled Sunday!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Prayers Please

Well... I had some great pictures of our day to share but blogger is not allowing photos again so I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

My FIL had me cracking up today. See I put him to work yesterday to clean our windows (no I'm not a demanding DIL... he offered really since he has longer arms) but we have a large, curved window that doesn't open and is very difficult to reach; that with what we had available was impossilbe to clean. But he was determined! Today he came with me to help Mike finish a few things in his office and on the way we made a stop at Price Rite to pick up some rice bags. As I looked for the bags, he told me he was going to look for something to clean the window. Low and behold, he found EXACTLY what he had in mind. When we got home he was so excited to see if it worked and yeah!!! we have beautiful windows thanks to all of his hard work! I just had to giggle at the challenge to have all the windows so clean.

While Izzy took her afternoon nap, they let me go to the pool (talk about a perfect tanning/swimming day... it was gorgeous!) where I read my book and took a swim. It was so relaxing and I was really thankful for the time to myself.

After that, we headed to the Botanical Gardens. It was very pretty but I was a bit disappointed in the animals. There weren't as many as I expected (don't know what I was thinking... it is HK and the park is in the heart of Central) but it was a great place to get some exercise. Poor Dad with his sore knees... there were a lot of hills and steps on the way out. I think I will go back sometime just to take my time and explore in more detail the animals/gardens that are there. Plus... it's pretty covered with trees so a great place to be outside but not experience too much of the sun and there's a lot for Isabella to explore.

Mike met us there and we walked to the Peak Tram and took it to 'The Peak.' It was a great day/night to go... not too much haze. I'm always amazed at how beautiful it is up there and God really blessed us with a wonderful dinner. We were at the top and I smelled pizza and it smelled wonderful so we located the restaurant and ate there. This restaurant overlooked the city and what a gorgeous view we had as the sun set and the HK lights turned on. What a blessing. I also tried some doughnuts (normally they are SUPER dry and not very good) but these were my favourite! Just plain ole doughnuts... yeah I know I'm boring but that's what I like.

I've been blogging a lot about our desires verses God's desires for our lives and though we may not always get what we want... He sure does shower us with blessings along the way. I never dreamed we could have afforded eating at this restaurant but it was reasonable and it was a very special evening for all of us.

And I got home to the sweetest email from my Hannah who is moving very soon to HK! Can't wait to spend time with you! Another blessing just when I needed it. God just knows what we need and He never fails us.

I'm almost in tears as I write this because I'm just so blessed to be a child of His. I can remember my life before Christ and it was so sad. I was so angry, bitter, unhappy, trying to please others, etc. But now... I find joy, peace, laughter, confidence, etc... and it's all because of the freedom He gives when we commit our lives to serving Him.

I'm feel so honored that He chose me to serve Him in this way (in overseas missions) and I want so badly to please Him... to hear Him say... "Well done, my good and faithful servant." So I've decided to step back and really seek what He has for my ministry here in HK. I know the desires He has given me but I need to be more creative in how I live out those. So if you wouldn't mind praying for me... pray that God would direct me in His plans and that He would show me how to live out those plans most effectively.

Mom, Dad and I had a long discussion today about ministry and giftings and they shared some insights that really confirmed some things in my heart. And they really blessed me by sharing how they really saw Mike and I as a 'team.' I've always loved that about us... I've always been his biggest supporter and love working beside Him but this year hasn't allowed that to happen as much as I'm used to and it's been hard. So to hear those words made me realize that though I may not be able to be as involved as I have in the past... we are still a team... and we will always be a team. Not all pastors and pastors wives work in that way but that's how God wants us to be and I think that's probably the only way we'll continue to be effective in our ministry. So again, I would ask that if you think about us please say a prayer for our marraige. Why? I believe that Satan will attack us because he doesn't want to see effective ministry. In fact... say a prayer for your Pastor and family right now because sadly Satan is at work and is destroying families as we speak.

Well... once again I've written a book. Tomorrow's an early morning so I better get to bed.

Blessings to you on this wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Letter from the Father

I was doing a little web-surfing this evening and I found this 'A Letter From the Father' It was so fitting for some of what I have been sharing the past few days that I wanted to share it here. Take the time to read each word and soak it in... you'll be amazed at how much God truly loves each and every one of us.

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

We hit another park today. Isabella enjoyed swinging, sliding, and exploring. We saw some turtles and she just peeked her head through the bars on the bridge to see them. We must have worn her out because she didn't fight getting back in the stroller and heading home.

It was quite a productive day today. Dad cleaned our windows for us and helped Mike put together a desk for Dorie and Mom helped me clean my curtains. I'm all caught up on laundry, the dishes are done, and the flat dusted! LOL

Good thing because tomorrow may be a busy day for us. I'm hoping to take them to the Botanical Gardens if weather and energy permit and then we'll head to the peak for a view of the city at night.

I'm so excited... I finally gave in a made an appointment for a consultation with a hair stylist this Friday. With naturally curly hair... you just can't go to anyone here and I've been desperate for a new 'do' for awhile so I finally gave in and called. I'll meet with John from the UK (LOL) and hopefully afterwards... get a cut. Maybe I should do a 'before' and 'after' pic just in case it's a drastic change. LOL

I've lost a bit of scrapping mojo but I did put this one together using a picture from the park a few days ago that just called out 'scrap me!' LOL

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Photo Catch Up

Yeah... blogger is allowing photos. So I have a bit of catching up to do. Here are some pictures from our trip to the Kowloon Walled City yesterday. A great family photo taken by Dad and a picture of some of the actual remains of this city. This park is incredible and a lot of fun to just walk around.

After our farewell dinner with the Bishops, we hopped onto the KCR to head home. This is when Isabella hit her 'crazy' overly tired yet hyped on sugar time. Amazingly... here she is sitting patiently on the KCR. Mind you, this only lasted long enough to take the photo.

Patiently waiting on the KCR

And here she is making faces. She's just recently started sticking out her tongue and this is her attempt.
During her very giggly, squirmy moment

Daddy was the one to entertain on this ride home... I think he did a great job... what about you?
Sweet Father/Daughter Moment

Now today was a busier day. Mom and I went to the wet market to pick up some flowers, to the fruit/veggie market for the obvious and to park n' shop for laundry detergent. We came home, had lunch, and headed out to the pool. Isabella had a BLAST! I've never seen her enjoy the pool as much as she did today. She walked straight in and as far as she could before the water covered her head, from one pool to the other, and spent time talking to the lifeguard. She really had a great time and cried when it was time to go. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera but I'm sure we'll head over there again before Grandma and Grandpa leave. This evening we headed to the night market and what fun we had. Mom is a great bargain-er and walked away with some very pretty things. I used my birthday money to get a Chinese painting and Dad and Mike just walked shaking their heads. LOL It's always fun to see what they have (it always seems to change) and of course it's fun to try and get the best deal. Now we're all pooped and ready for bed. Here's a picture of us at the beginning of the market. I should've taken one at the end too (we all looked a bit different)! LOL

Here we are at the night market... getting ready to shop.

One more fun picture to share. Here is Isabella in her new Chinese style PJ's, standing on her toes. I don't know exactly why but this photo just really caught my eye and I LOVE it. My little doll baby.

Just love this pic of my Izzy on her toes in her new Chinese pj's!

Don't know what's in store for tomorrow but I know it'll be great. How could it not... I've got family here!

I have decided not to enter the Memory Maker Masters (scrapping) contest. I decided the cost of printing and shipping is not worth it even if I got published in a magazine. The reason why I scrap is not to become 'known', it's because I want to create memories that will last forever and will allow my daughter to know what life was like for her before she could remember. I am thankful that I considered it though because I got some amazing layouts to show for it and I'm thrilled to be able to share them. Here is one of my favorites... (isn't she just a doll?)

I was going to try and keep this short but part of my reasoning for blogging is that it's a way for me to journal my thoughts and 'think' through what I'm learning and well... I'm continuing to learn so I better keep writing.

The first lesson in my book is titled 'Revival--Who needs it?'

The type of revival it's talking about is for God's people, those who by faith in Jesus have received salvation. A revival of our spiritual lives... and you know what... it's not just for those who have obviously walked away from the Lord. I'm sure most of us at some point in our lives have grown stagnant in our spiritual lives and what better time than this to return to our first love.

The first memory verse is:
Hosea 10:12 "Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to see the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you."

This verse is scary to me because it means that I need to search my heart and search hard. I need to be aware of my sin and deal with it and not just with God but those I may have sinned against. And you know what... that's hard! Facing sin is embarrassing and difficult because as I said the other day... sometimes it's just easier to live in sin then to deal with it because it takes work. And then of course there is pride and it so easily steps into our lives and says, "Well I had the right to do this or I was right to begin with, or even well... they won't know that I did this so why apologize." But how can we know God to the fullest or experience incredible revival if we just say 'that issue isn't that big of a deal or I don't really struggle with that, etc... Get my drift? We need to be honest. Honest with ourselves, honest with God and honest with others. Yes it's scary but I believe if you open yourself up to God's working in your life... you'll experience such freedom, such joy, and purpose in your life. So here I go... ready to experience a personal revival in my own spiritual life. I don't doubt it'll be difficult and that I'll have to deal with some personal issues but I believe I will be stronger in the end and have a deeper understanding of God.

Praying that you may consider joining me in this revival!

BTW... to my anonymous commenter... just want you to know that I appreciated your comment and that I'm praying for you. I may not know who you are but God does and that's all that matters. Blessings to you today!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Parks, Good-byes, and Giggles

No major deep thoughts today... my brain hurts. LOL

The weather was much more bearable today! What a blessing. We took Mom and Dad to the Kowloon Walled City and I had a great time. It's such a beautiful park and to know the history behind it is pretty cool too.

We bid the Bishops farewell today. They will be returning to the states on Wed waiting on God to tell them what is next. Please say a prayer for them... they are Drew (dad), Erin (mom), Andrew (15) and Nicole (13). They were an incredible asset to our ministry here and we will miss them greatly. Please pray for an easy adjustment and that God will clearly show them what He has in store for the next chapter in their lives.

Isabella was crazy this evening! I think she was hyped up on sugar yet exhausted at the same time. She was so giggly and squirmy and SO fun to watch. I got some great pictures but blogger is not allowing me to upload them. So maybe tomorrow...

Plans for tomorrow... the NIGHT MARKET! I can't tell you how excited I am. I need to deposit my birthday money so I can have fun bargaining for some goodies. LOL

Well... I may try posting some pictures again before bed but for now... I'm off to read my book.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

More thoughts....

My conversation with my MIL was just so amazing that I'm still thinking through all that we discussed. One of the other topics was just being amazed at God's love and protection of us... and the fact that His timing is just perfect.

We were discussing our move to HK and the timing of it but mainly how our move protected us from potential hurt and disappointment. You see... our home church has gone through a difficult time over the past year and had we not moved, we would have gotten stuck in the middle of it all and probably suffered a lot of hurt and disappointments. However... God chose the ONE place, the ONE and ONLY place, that we would have even considered moving to... China. Our ministry (and I hope this doesn't sound arrogant because I don't intend it that way at all... it's ALL GOD and not our doing) in MN was going really well. God was at work and it was awesome to be a part of His working. We LOVED our church, we LOVED our students and we just knew some AMAZING things were going to take place. If another church had contacted us, we wouldn't have entertained the thought because in our minds, our next move was overseas and God knew that. I'm not saying that the only reason God brought us to HK was to protect us but I do believe that was part of it. I had thought about this before but never focused on the fact that God called us to the only place we would have considered and as my MIL and I were discussing this.. I
sat there in awe. In awe of an amazing God!

Now on to yesterdays post...

I had to check an email before church this morning and since I had a few extra minutes I popped over to my blog to read the comment from Charlene. And I want to thank her for making me think. I started questioning my faith and how strong it was and God gave me such a peace... a peace that brought all my searching and questioning to a halt. It was like He was saying to me... 'Melissa, it's not about your faith level... it's about your understanding of MY perfect timing and MY plan for your life.' See, I have NO doubts that God could give me the desires of my heart today... all of them if He so chooses BUT if I got what I wanted... I most likely would be missing out on what God wanted for me. And I don't doubt that God will give me some of my desires but I also know that there are some things that I will never receive because that's not the life He has called me too. For example... in time I believe God will allow our family to increase but I also believe that I will never live super close to my family. Two things that I do desire but right now... the timing for a child is not right and living close to family would be living in disobedience to God's call on our lives to serve overseas.

I guess one of the big things I was thinking through was whether or not we can 'make' things happen in our lives and in a sense I think we can. I think we can be so set on something WE want that God allows it to happen. However, I feel that when this happens we're probably missing out on what He had planned for our lives though we may never even know it.

Sunday message...

On to top off these thoughts... my FIL preached an AMAZING message on bondage. All I can say is WOW and I hope that God spoke to others as He spoke to me. I think we all suffer from some sort of bondage and probably don't even realize it. He shared an illustration that I think will stick with me forever and I hope that it will always help me to let go... it went like this (okay so my version of it):

There are people in Africa who catch monkeys to sell to zoo's all over the world and they catch them by placing a bottle (think pop bottle style with a smaller neck and bigger bottom) with nuts in them on the ground. These nuts have a very strong smell to them and the monkeys LOVE them. These nuts are their bondage because the monkeys reach in to grab the nuts but cannot get their hands out. You would think they'd just open their hand and pull it out but no... they WANT those nuts. So the people can easily catch them because they will never let go of those darn nuts.

Bondage is like that for us... we hold onto it so tightly because often it means we have to do something about it and usually it's easier to live with our bondage than to be set free from it. Think about how we use the phrase 'That's how God created me' to explain away a character flaw. We use that phrase so that people just get used to us acting that way but in reality that's bondage. It's just easier to say that than to deal with that flaw and change. God can set us free, we just have to allow Him to... no matter what the cost.

And he also touched on how to know you have a 'saving' relationship with the Lord. Anybody can say they have a relationship with Christ but for some their lifestyle never changes. A true relationship with the Lord is reflected by our developing the fruits of the spirit:



That doesn't mean we've perfected them all but we should be daily working on all of these.

I don't know who all my readers are or where they stand with the Lord but I would be remiss to say all that and not ask you this:

Where do you stand with the Lord? Have you made the decision to surrender your life to God? If you have, do you/others see the fruits of the spirit in your life? Is their bondage in your life that you need to confess and let God set you free? Are their people in your life that you need to ask forgiveness from?

If there is anyone who would like someone to pray for them or anyone who would like to know more about a personal relationship with the Lord, I would be honored to listen, pray and share. Please contact me at

God has been so good to me that I pray everyone can experience a life surrendered to Him. It's not about church or rules or all the other negative things you may here, it's about a relationship and an incredible one at that.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

God to the rescue!

I don't know what happened to my baby today... she woke up a little before 5 crying her little heart out. Fortunately, nothing a little cuddling couldn't fix and she quickly went back to sleep but that incident seemed to effect her entire day. She did take a good morning nap that allowed my MIL and I to chat and that was wonderful. We talked through all sorts of things and she really shared some wisdom into some struggles I've been having. One of the things we discussed was something I totally forgot to share yesterday and well here it goes...

I took them to the Fa Yuen St market, a market I haven't been to in months. I was pretty confident I knew how to get there... just get off the KCR and find the footbridge. Unfortuately, we got off the KCR and I could not find the bridge so we started walking. I figured if I could get to the street, there are enough signs and I could find my way. Wrong again. Here's the awesome part... a chinese lady saw me looking around trying to find my way and came over and asked if she could help. God thing #1 She spoke excellent English. After she understood what I was looking for she not only offered directions but actually walked us to the market... God thing #2. Maybe this sounds normal to you but this is NOT normal for HK. Everyone is too busy to help anyone let alone WALK them to where they need to be. Some people say that we can over-spiritualize life by including God in the tiniest of daily life details but isn't God the one who created this world? So why wouldn't He be in everything? I have no doubt that God brought that lady over to us to help and how could I NOT give Him the glory! What a blessing that was to us.

Another thing I have been struggling with is what does it mean to put God in a box. For example... Mike and I have the philosophy that we will do/go wherever God leads us... we will not limit Him by saying things like 'I will only live in this area or only do this ministry.' Now don't get me wrong, we have our own desires and wishes but ultimately we will do what He has called us to. I personally feel that if I tell God what I will or will not do, I'm putting Him in a box. I'm sure there are others who would disagree with me but I'm simply sharing my thoughts. Now... my struggle is if I tell God how it has to be (for example like if I tell God that I won't live anywhere but in PA) and we find a job there and move... is God honoring my wishes or am I making things happen on my own. I'm pretty convinced that (I guess that means I'm not really struggling with this exact question but... well just keep reading) if I tell (notice I say the word TELL... like I'm calling the shots) God something and it works out that way than it's probably me making it happen or God allowing it to happen but in the end I'm not fulfilled as I thought I would be because I'm not directly where God wants me to be. Does that make sense? I feel as though I'm rambing a bit... anyway.

Think of the example of the Israelites and thier begging for a king so much so that God finally gave in (against His better judgement or perfect plan) and gave them King Saul. What happened? He was a lousy King... he tried to kill David, was disobedient, etc. If they had been patient and trusted the Lord's timing and provision... just think who the King might have been and what might have been accomplished. I think this shows how we can't always see the big picture and ultimately... God knows what's best for us. Therefore why I wouldn't be completely fulfilled even though I got what I wanted.

So I guess what I'm really struggling with is why some people tell God what they want and get it yet here I am... open to whatever God has and yet I don't receive the desires of my heart. Now... I'm not unhappy, not feeling neglected, and God has defintely given me some of my desires but this struggle is what leads to my questioning.. 'what does putting God in a box mean.' Am I putting God in a box because I don't tell Him specifics and possibly saying that I don't trust His ability to meet those?

I don't really believe that because I know God can do anything and I also know that being exactly where God has you is the most fulfilling (no matter what you may think!) But I guess I'm just dealing with a little bit of jealously/envy of some people in my life that seem to be getting everything they want... when they want it.

But as my MIL reminded me... I need to "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" (joshua 24:15) and what's more important... getting what I want, when I want it OR living a life knowing that I'm where God wants me to be and trusting that His plan for my life is more wonderful than I could ever have dreamed up.

Wow... I just told Mike that I think this post was pretty wishy-washy going from 'I'm struggling' to 'No, I'm not struggling' but that's how my brain is working today as I think through these things and that's why I love journaling... because my thoughts don't totally have to make sense... I write so that I can put my thoughts together and discover God in the process.

So now that it's way past 11 and I still want to read a few pages of my book... I best bid farewell!

Take a minute to notice the little blessings God has for you today!


Sequined Paperclips... in 13 different colors

Here's my latest design for Liddys Loft... actually I have several new items in the boutique but this is the latest thing I created... not everything made it into the shop at the same time. I taught myself a lot this evening and I'm so excited to get busy designing some new elements.

Today I took Mom and Dad to Fa Yuen street market to show them the most populated part of HK and in hopes of picking up some new sleepers for Isabella. Unfortunately... my stall didn't have any but we found some other types of pj's for her and I got myself some cherries! I just love them but they're just as expensive here as they are in the states but fruit is always cheaper at the markets and so I picked up a lb as a special treat. Wow... talk about a long run on sentence! lol

We came back and everyone napped. The heat just wears you out and it has been SOOO hot and humid the past few days that Mom said she would never again say that Dover is hot. LOL When Isabella woke up, Grandma and me took her outside to blow some bubbles and slide. It was fun to see Isabella's excitement as she came down the slide. This is something that she's just recently figured out how to do on her own and I can just see the love of freedom in her eyes. We had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed watching MI3 for like the 3rd (well for me) time. I love that movie... so intense.

I skimmed my books today and came across a list of questions to ask yourself to see if you struggle with pride. My heart just ached to see that I had to answer 'yes' to some of those questions. I've always tried really hard not to be prideful and to put others before me but recently I have really been struggling in some areas. I never realized that most of these struggles were based upon my pride. I'm thankful that God pointed this out to me! Now... I can ask forgiveness and allow God to work in these areas.

I've decided that I'm going to start with this book first. It's called 'Seeking Him' and it's a 12 week study on personal revival with 5 daily sessions to work through. I've also decided that I'm going to blog about each session so that I will concentrate harder on the material and allow my brain to soak in all that I'm learning. So... if a week goes by and I haven't posted at least 5 times about it... feel free to leave a comment and ask why! LOL

Well... I don't know what tomorrow holds. Mike's not feeling well and it's supposed to rain. Maybe we'll just hang low and swim.

Have a blessed day... my faithful readers!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

~Sweet Treats~

I think it's safe to say that Isabella is enjoying her time with Grandma and Grandpa... wouldn't you agree?

They arrived safely last evening... a 1/2 hour early! We expected a late night so Isabella and I stayed home so that Izzy could get a good nights sleep and be ready to entertain but with the early arrival she was able to stay awake and greet them at the door. She was a little hesitant but only until Grandma opened up the suitcase and she found lots of toys. Today, however, was a completely different story as you can see in the picture above... she had a blast playing her heart out and entertaining them.

Jet lag hit harder than expected so we kept today pretty low key... although we introduced them to a few aspect of our lives here in HK pretty quickly. We had lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant and dinner at my favorite dumpling place and they got to experience the heat of HK. Mike wanted me to have all my favorites on my birthday so this was quite a treat although I think I gained about 10lbs in one day. LOL

And check this out... Mike's first digi-scrapping page! How awesome is he???!!!!

It was a special day... having my family together for my birthday was all I could've asked for but I ended up with some pretty sweet presents. Some paper scrapping supplies, two books, some bath and body works lotion, a necklace, a sweet HK christians t-shirt, and a really cool decorative pillow from my SIL. My parents and aunt/uncle sent me some money so I'm excited to do some shopping at the markets, and my niece surprised me with a phone call and talking for 30 minutes!

Another thing that made my day was I got my first paycheck from selling my designs and it was much bigger than I anticipated! I was so excited! A lot of my elements haven't made it into the store yet so I wasn't expecting anything so it was a great surprise!

So the two books I got are Seeking Him and Captivating and I'm dying to dig into them... just trying to figure out which one first. I may request an hour at the pool just to read... haven't done that since well before Izzy.

Tomorow begins some exploring... that's if the rain will allow but I'm anxious to show them a bit more of our lives here in HK. First stop... market shopping. Isabella has outgrown the majority of her sleepers so I need to pick up a few more. Whats great is that they're about 1 to 2 US dollars here!

Well... my brain is not working so off to bed. Have a blessed day everyone!

Just a quick photo before dinner

On our walk home.. just love this photo.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Rainy walk, new flat and giggles


Our morning walk didn't go so well today. LOL We walked about 15ft and the rain began so we turned around. Just a few seconds later it stopped so I decided (don't know what I was thinking... it is HK) to turn around and keep walking. We walked to the end of the Harbour Plaza Hotel and turned around to come back and the clouds opened up. By the time we reached our building we were SOAKED! The gaurd just laughed at us but you know what... it was still great. I loved being out and I just love watching Isabella take everything in. Her eyes just go from one thing to the next... she checks everyone out, listens to them talking, smiles, and begs for some Pocky. I've decided that I MUST find her some rain boots so when days like this happen... we don't have to turn around but rather we can play in the rain.

We both came home and took a long nap before Mike and I reassembled our flat. LOL We've been desperately cleaning, throwing away things, and re-arranging furniture since we found out that we won't be moving. We really want the place to be more welcoming and more spacious and it's actually been quite fun. It felt like we had moved in all over again. Now I just have to find a large painting to put in the living room and some more frames to hang all these pictures I have.

Tomorrow we're hoping to have two of our youth over and that should be fun... I'm hoping that maybe Ben will do a little painting for me too. He made us a large poster of a scripture verse and hung it in our flat before we arrived (and it was so pretty) and I"m hoping he'll paint 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord' over our big window.

So only 3 more sleeps (well for Isabella anyway... we get to see them sooner) before Grandpa and Grandma are here!!!!!!!!!

Oh and... I had my 1st real sandwich here in HK! It was marvalous! Lunch meat is not common here and to get the good stuff you have to shell out the money... the same with cheese but a grocery store nearby just re-opened and we decided to treat ourselves to the incredible meat and cheese section they had. So I had a turkey sandwich with swiss cheese! And we got enought that I can have a few more before the weeks over! Yeah... it really is the little things that make me smile.

Isabella just starting giggling while playing by herself and it's so adorable. Mike and I were cleaning and all of a sudden I heard this sweet little giggle and there was Isabella sitting on our widow sill, playing with one of her books, just giggling away. Talk about a sweet noise to listen too.

You know.. nothing major happened today but I really felt God's blessings in some of the littlest things that happened. I pray that I can always be sensitive to Him at work, in the big and little things and that I will give Him the praise rather than taking it myself.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Spiritual Disciplines

Watermelon Whimsy by Angela Powers, Emily Powers or SDS and Lori Barhurst of Scrapartist

Meredith Fenwick's Personality Collection NOW available at SBB

I don't have much to say today so I thought I would share some recent layouts.

Isabella and I are counting down the days until Grandma and Grandpa are here... 3 to go! Can't wait! I'm busy making lists of things to do, places to go, and foods to eat and figuring out ways to make our flat a little more roomy. LOL

The message today was a perfect fit for some things I've been thinking through lately. It's so funny how that happens at times. Anyway... I've been reading and thinking a lot about how we give the idea that you are not spiritual if you don't participate in certain spiritual disciplines for a certain amount of time. (For example, if you don't read your Bible EVERY day and have a quiet time for 30 minutes EVERY day than something's wrong and you're not a strong Christian.) This has become something I have been struggling with lately because I'm finding that I just don't work that way anymore. Sitting down in a quiet space, reading and journaling, is not realistic for my current stage in life. I find myself drawing closer to God through observing His works throughout the day (thru walks, watching people, etc), praying whenever something pops into my head or in short spurts when I have a quiet minute, or listening to sermons or the Bible verses reading it. My MIL introduced me to this magazine and this month they had this article that discussed what I'm struggling with and it was so refreshing to read. I was beginning to think how terrible of a Christian I was when I realized that spiritual disciplines are WONDERFUL but they are not what make you spiritual... it's the heart behind them. They are merely a way to draw you closer to God. Now... please do not take this as me saying it's not necessary to read, pray, etc (see above.. I still do those things but in a different way) I'm simply saying that we shouldn't base our spirituality on those. Because I'm sure there are people out there who do read and pray everyday for a certain amount of time but because of the heart behind them, they are not drawing nearer to God.

And Ed shared these three dangers relating to Spiritual Disciplines that I found very fitting because as I have been discovering... if our hearts are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit we can be doing/saying/thinking ungodly things without even realizing it and I think probably one major spiritual thing to get caught up in would be spiritual disciplines because it seems for some people... that's how they determine theirs or others growth.

1.To become judgmental of others who seem not to be as serious about some or all of the disciplines.
2.To center on the disciplines rather than on Christ.
3.To view the disciplines as spiritual in themselves.

I'm so glad that God has opened my eyes to this perspective and I now have a refreshed, excited heart about developing some new types of spiritual disciplines into my life.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Special Moments

I got into bed last night thinking... 'Man, If my blog is to be a journal for me to remember the special things that happened each day... I missed a lot in the past two days. So what did I write and why did I write it?' So for probably the next 30 minutes or so, I just laid there thinking of what I wanted to make sure I wrote tonight. I don't know if that's a sign of spending too much time on the computer or just a desire to remember everything. LOL


Since before Isabella was born, I wanted to include special things in our daily lives. I wanted to do the usual things like make sure we prayed together, read books, and sing but I also wanted to include some different things that would leave special memories (at least for me until she can remember them... lol). Like Wednesdays... Mike's gone a majority of the day so I wanted Wednesday's to be Mommy and Izzy days and so I've always tried to do something that would get us out of the flat and have fun. For awhile we had 'tea' time about 3 pm until the biscuits Isabella ate got her so messy that I pretty much had to bathe her before Daddy got home. I want to get back into this because it was fun and I just found some vanilla wafer type cookies that will work great. But I've been drawing a blank lately and have really wanted to include something fun... and then Daddy came to the rescue! When John and Sarah were here and he got up with Isabella he would take her on a walk because she's not very energetic at 6am... again why I'm not why sure she wakes up then. LOL Anyway... they had a great time and I thought it would be fun to have a morning walk with her. So Tuesday when she got up, we took a walk. We walked along the harbour and watched all the people doing their Tai Chi exercises and were running. It was really quite enjoyable despite the time. It was calm and quiet and not so warm that we were sweating immediately. We walked for about 45 minutes and came home to play a little inside before nap time. Now... if I can just get my butt out of bed everyday to do that. Maybe I should make that my next 21 day challenge! LOL

Yesterday, Isabella discovered her belly button
yeah it's blurry but this girl moves non-stop!

and I had a blast watching her walk around the flat lifting her shirt and playing with it. It was so precious. I was exhausted when she woke up so we took a late morning walk which turned out to be a lot of fun. We walked along the harbour to Mike's office and she loved the freedom to explore since we weren't in any hurry. We stopped at Pacific Coffee and picked up some Chillinos before stopping to see Mike and Auntie Dorie. It was just so fun and relaxing to be outside, just enjoying each others company. We planned to go swimming but once she woke up from her nap it was raining so we put it off for another day. I think we all still have a bit of this stomach bug so I spent a good hour or so just holding Isabella. I could tell she was in pain because one minute she would be giggling up a storm and the next crying out. Thankfully after resting a bit she was good to go and once again kept me on my toes.

Today we originally planned on going to Macau but at the last minute we decided against it. It turned out again (we did the same thing on Monday) to be the right decision. Isabella went down for a nap around 8:30 and Mike and I joined her shortly thereafter but Izzy and I didn't get up until 11 and Mike even later! I couldn't believe it. We took a family walk later in the afternoon and let Izzy ride (or push as she often chooses to do) her bike and it was so fun. I just loved taking a walk and letting her play as a family. I definitely enjoy doing these things with her but it's so much better when Mike can join us.

Mike and I have spent a lot of time lately saying how grown up Izzy looks... not a baby anymore... definitely toddler although still with no hair. lol She just brings so much joy into our home. She's into giving kisses these days... wide open mouth kisses. LOL It's so sweet and she has a few stuffed animals that she kisses everyday. I've been working with her to blow kisses and today she finally did it. I was so excited. She's also really gotten into playing ball and is pretty darn good at catching it. Must take after her mother... ha ha. Her biggest thing and has been for awhile now is talking on the phone. Anything becomes a phone as she puts it to her ear and says, 'Hello.' I've also been working with her on saying please and thank you in sign language. Unfortunately... no success there. :) Just a lot of grunting.

Mom and Dad Rose are coming next week and we are so excited! It will be so great to have family around for a few weeks and I think we're going to try and attempt a Disney World trip while they're here. Isabella may not remember it but I will and I think it would be a special memory. Hope the in-laws agree... :)

I've gotten back into my workout routine and it's been great. I just love Tae Bo and for my birthday I got the newest videos 'the Elite Bootcamp series' and I just can't wait to try them out.

Oh yeah... how could I forget... I'm a guest Creative Team member for Meredith Fenwick this month and I couldn't be more excited! She has incredible designs and I have been having a blast working with her kits. Be on the look out for some layouts!

And speaking of designing... Mike made this ad for our local newspaper. Didn't he do just an amazing job?????

Okay... this post is long enough. Maybe I'll get to bed a bit earlier tonight! LOL

One last photo... the things you do for a laugh.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wow God

I have been reminded a lot lately that God's timing is perfect and today, I had another one of those... 'Wow God' moments.

It's been a hard few weeks... nothing major but a few things have happened that have really made me crave my family and familiar surroundings. And today, I woke up with absolutely NO energy. I literally was dozing as Izzy and I played at 6 this morning. LOL

So, exhuasted, frustrated and missing home was how my morning started. But God allowed the day to end perfectly. For starters... my MIL called and I got to chat a little with her, my SIL, and my niece Shay. I really needed that and I'm so thankful that God allowed them to call at the perfect time. And how cool is this... Shay (who is 6) is getting baptized on Sunday! I am SO proud of her and so bummed I won't be able to watch but I'm trusting (hint hint... lol) there will be a video. :)

Secondly, I decided to enter another scrapping contest and God gave me the creativity to finish all but one (therefore 4) lo's tonight! I still have some tweaking to do but I am so proud of them! So proud, that I'm considering dropping out of the contest so I can share them. If not... it won't be until late Sept that I can share. One of these LO's is about Isabella's birth and as I was journaling, I was reminded of how perfect God's timing was in bringing her to us. I won't go into all the details but before getting pregnant, we were beginning the adoption process which fell through and once we decided to have our own baby, it took longer than expected. I didn't understand it at the time but as I look back, I see how perfect His timing was in bringing her to us when He did and for so many reasons.

Thirdly, my sweet hubby has agreed to get up with Izzy tomorrow morning which allows me to catch up on a few zzz's... which is why I'm still up blogging. LOL

So... this evening was filled with 'Wow God... I hated going through that... I hated feeling that way... but Wow... You were so right to allow that.'

Isn't it great to know that our lives are not our own?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Congrats Noel and RJ!

I really have a small vocabulary! LOL Everytime I sit down to write the first words out of my mouth are... "Wow... what a day!" I guess I need to come up with something new but it really describes most of my days... including this past weekend!

Sunday we honored our Seniors with a Junkboat Trip and it was AMAZING! I think it's been the best thing we have ever done with our group here. Attendence was great, kids brought their friends, and even some of our Jr. Highers came! However, the day did start off rough but God is SO GOOD in answering prayers and here's just a little example of how He worked...

I was just outside the gate to church when the sky opened up and the rain came down. Not just a little... A LOT... enough to soak Isabella and I and everything I had in my hands. On our way to church I saw the dark clouds and just pleaded with God to allow it to pour while we where in church and clear up afterwards and you know what.... God not only stopped the rain but He gave us one of the most GORGEOUS days ever! It was blue skies with my favorite puffy white clouds and sunny but not too hot... just perfect for a nice tan. lol

We got on the boat around 11am and had about an hour and a half boat ride to the beach. We all had a blast and only a few suffered from the choppy waves. It was a great time just to talk and the students all enjoyed watching Isabella attempt to stay on her feet as the boat rocked.

We arrived at our destination

and Nicole, Becky, and their friend started us off by jumping off the boat into the water. The water was wonderful. Warm and clean! And we saw a few friends (some sea urchins and jellyfish) too.

We all took a short ride over to the beach to baptize Tony and that was just an awesome experience. It was great to hear a little of his heart and such a blessing for Mike to be able to baptize him. The group stood around and cheered him on. PTL for his commitment before all that he wants to serve our God.

Our trip back home was fun as well. We honored our Sr's with a little gift and allowed the students to share some stories about them and then I think almost everyone fell asleep. LOL We got home around 6pm and it wasn't long before Isabella was in bed. She was exhausted from not sleeping the entire day.

I love spending time with our students but I struggle here because it's hard for me to entertain Isabella and talk in depth with them. Sometime's I feel like my relationships with them are very surfacey (yes... I like making my own words) and I just hate that. But I love my Izzy and wouldn't trade her for anything, I just need to be a bit more creative. I think next fall will provide a bit more freedom for me to dig into their lives.. thanks to Mike. Until then... I will just enjoy the time we are together and do the best I can to invest in their lives.

Along with our great JunkBoat trip was a great message on Sunday morning. Pastor Ed had a Spiritual Health Check (quiz) for us and it was really eye opening for me. I realized how much I struggle in being 'gentle' and how I struggle with my temper, critizing others, and truly loving enemies. One of the questions was, "Are you honest to others about your feelings towards them?" I thought this was a bizarre question and I'm still thinking through this but here is the thought behind it... Is it right to fake friendliness? Should you be friendly towards someone you don't like? Is that right? By faking... you don't deal with the problem you just pretend it doesn't exisit. If you are honest... it forces you to deal with your problems. I totally understand this perspective but what I'm working through right now is how do you not fake friendliness toward someone that you just don't get along with? If there's nothing that has happened between you two but with different personalities you just don't click. I guess it's just a God thing.. God has to work in you and help you to love that person. I would love to hear your opinions on this topic.

We were to head to Macau today but we all woke up exhausted and Mike a little burnt. We all napped and Izzy amazed both of us by taking two, two hour naps and went to bed on time. LOL I think we made the right decision by staying home.

Tomorrow means back to normal routine but only for a few more days!!! Mom and Dad Rose arrive next week! Can't wait to see them.