Friday, February 26, 2010

Do I have Love?

In the last year Randy and I said to God that we would go wherever He wanted us to. Honestly I was hoping for somewhere exciting, I mean I told God I would go ANYWHERE. (I was thinking about just having come back from the trip to Africa last January.) I even grudgingly said I'd go someplace cold, and if you know me you know THAT is sacrifice. We really meant it too, anywhere.... You know where God is sending us? About an hour and a half west of where I am now. On one hand I am a little sad it wasn't a more exciting place. On the other hand God has made it pretty clear that He is the one sending us there and that is so exciting to me. Not only did He provide Randy a job in Manhattan, He provided Randy a great job in Manhattan! so obviously my thoughts are consumed with making ready and selling a house. Finding a place to live. Transitioning the kids as smoothly as possible etc, etc....... Today though the thought of pointing my faith feet toward Manhattan has been topmost in my thoughts.

I haven't talked much lately about putting feet to my faith, which is really what this blog started out to be. I think the thought of God calling to put my feet in motion and go somewhere else that He has called me has gotten me thinking about everything in light of that again. Ordinary me trying to do what God calls all of us to do everyday. Show myself and others what it really looks like to walk my faith in the real world. What are practical ways to live like I love Jesus everyday? In doing this I have experienced growth and challenge, prayer and an intensity in my relationship with God. No big theology or evangelism plans but real walking with Jesus and what that means.
The walk this year or so has been eventful. God has opened my eyes to so much that I would never have even noticed without this experience. There are many hurting people out there. People that you never suspect live with hurt that they think they hide from everyone else. Often we have little time to really engage in conversation deeper than the flippant "how's it going?". If we did maybe we could see past the surface and into their hearts. The sadness that loss brings. The anxiety that is behind every bite of food that passes into their mouth. The hopelessness and desperation that comes with physical disability. The brutal pain of a spouse telling you they just don't love you any more. Sadly I know someone who is dealing with each of those things. A couple of them are covered by more than one person. 
What am I doing to reach out and Love them the way Jesus would?  I'm not sure. I know that there is a reason God has put those people in my path. He doesn't do anything by accident. For me it always helped when someone acknowledged my pain. Mentioned the elephant in the room so to speak :) Love speaks volumes. One thing I will try to do is to pray that I show love the way God models it to us. Sometimes I think we try to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Show love.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love , I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.                                                                   1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Feet are moving to Manhattan

So just to prove that God does have a sense of humor, the girl who said "I will never" just had it come back and bite her in the bee-hind AGAIN!" Let me re-cap the last few months for you in case you have forgotten. Recession kicks in, work is very bad for architecture, especially if you are self employed. We find ourselves in a situation we never thought we would be in, dependant on people who love us and the grace of God to survive. I go back to work. We sell our house (which really wasn't that hurtful, I didn't transition well to a subdivision). We go through insanity trying to close on the house we bought. And Randy gets a job offer OUT OF TOWN!!! so guess who is moving again? Yep that would be me. Well me and my whole family.
Understand that is said realizing the HOLY and AMAZING GRACE of MY LORD and SAVIOR. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has held us in his mighty hands the entire time we have struggled. It is only by an act of God that Randy ever got an interview let alone a job offer. We are so grateful to be blessed in this way.
I guess putting Feet to my Faith takes on a whole new meaning. God is so good!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manhattan and the Flint Hills

The whole family spent the day in Manhattan today. I love this area. The Flint Hills are always beautiful, even in the middle of winter. You would never expect to see as much color as there really is. This picture doesn't do it justice. Part camera problems mostly user problems, it was cold!!!!
It's funny the memories that pop up when your back in an are you haven't seen in a while. Driving down streets that were vaguely familiar I was flooded with memories of college. Lots of funny stories that I think the kids liked hearing. I didn't catch any eye rolls anyway. We went to the Union and then walked through Seaton Hall where Randy spent the majority of his time. (No really, almost every moment both waking and sleeping.) Studio rooms all looked the same. Same chaos, same harried looking students! Emma remarked that we were getting a lot of strange looks, but that those students had certainly walked around like that before they came to school there!
Sadly the art building that my classes were in was torn down several years ago to make way for the HUGE library, so no classroom memories for me:(  We didn't head over to the dorms, but I think we might save that for an official college visit when Caleb goes. Fun day, lots of memories, and kids that got along without incident even sitting three across in the crowded backseat of my Mother-in-Laws car! (ours broke down yesterday.... of course:)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have to share this blog posting from a friend who is a missionary in Mozambique. God has been teaching me about suffering this year. I'm definitely looking at it differently, but this is a perspective I don't experience.
"There are days when I really feel sorry for myself. Days when I feel like I have had to suffer.....because I was SO hot in church and the bench was uncomfortable, or I was sick with a virus, or because I live so far away from my family and we miss getting to celebrate together, or because our water is off again for several hours and we had to haul in buckets of water to flush the toilets and I couldn't shower when I wanted to, or they were out of lunch meat at Shoprite and my kids will have to take pbj sandwiches in their lunch this week.

Then I hear stories of Mozambicans. Stories of real suffering.

And I am shamed and humbled.

Eugenia, age 41 year, died of AIDs on Saturday. She had 5 children. She was so weak and ill in the days leading up to her death that she would cry out in pain when her friends tried to move her. Her eyes appeared to bulge out of her head. She begged for Jesus to take her. She knew Jesus and assured her friends that she would see Him soon.

She is not from this province, so besides her alcoholic husband, she had no one. Her church family had been caring for her. Her oldest child has a child of her own. Her youngest child is about 2 1/2 and is probably HIV positive.

After her funeral, church family came to bring food and other items for the family. Some brought a few coins, others a bag of sugar or some tea, others some fruit. There was no family to come and take her children. Her church family members aren't in much better shape, financially, than she was. So there was no roster going around at church to sign up to bring a hot meal to them for the next week. No one bringing frozen casseroles to stick in the freezer.

Here, if you have HIV you are known as "positivo". Some people will shun you. Eugenia was very involved in her church, where she was loved and accepted. The family of God was her only family here. Sometimes she would come to church and quietly ask a friend for money because she had nothing to feed her children. When she looked thin, her friends would ask if she was eating. "If there's food there, I eat," she would answer.

Her church family has taken care of her as well as they could. Sat with her, prayed with her, and given from their meager means. They gave when it looks like to these American eyes that they had nothing themselves to give.
Another young woman, Lily, just had twins last week. She had been hospitalized because of high blood pressure and the babies were finally delivered by c-section. She and the babies left the hospital to return to a tiny house that was filthy and full of mosquitoes. There was no family waiting with welcome signs and a hot meal. No clean bassinets and sweet little baby clothes. No running water with baby bathtubs and sweet smelling baby soaps and shampoos.
We get upset when we lose the remote control to the TV or someone ate the last cookie and we didn't get one or we run out of toilet paper, or I'm tired and don't feel like cooking but I have to because going out to eat is not a viable option tonight.
Our houseworker, Lucilia, goes through our garbage on the days she comes to work. If I have thrown away a package of half-eaten, stale cookies, she takes it out. A half -a loaf of moldy bread, goes in her bag. Not for her family to eat - she and her husband have good, steady jobs - she gives it to her neighbors who have nothing. I have a package of cookies in my pantry right now that my kids don't like. So it sits there going stale. Lucilia's neighbors don't have the luxury of turning down food. They'll eat anything and be glad to get it.
So the next time I feel like I'm suffering, I hope the Lord kicks me in the tail again, like He did this morning when I heard these stories, so that I can stop and count my many, many blessings."
Borrowed with permission from Angie

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have this done for the time being. Figuring it all out taxed my puny brain cells to their limit! I know there are still issues with the whole thing but I will figure them out later!
I would love to hear what you think of the page now, please share :)

Trying something new.

Ok, there are a lot of fun things out there for bloggers. Most however, are probably more tech savy than me so please bear with me as I "fiddle" with how this works!!

And no, I havent found anything amazing in the jungle. I'd love to be there right now, it has to be warmer than here!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Boring Background

I'm tired of my background for the blogpage. I'm thinking maybe I need to figure out how to do that on my own! I've seen such neat ones, but I don't want to pay for it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

clean basement

Okay so I am a couple days late re posting the cleaner, box less, basement but it really was done on Sunday! I CAN'T believe that we found a place for everything in the house. (If you hadn't guessed the new house is quite a bit smaller than the old one) Though I guess we really didn't honestly find a place for everything. I packed 4 or 5 very large boxes of clothes and shoes for Goodwill. You can actually see the floor in our bedroom. I have seriously risked my life getting out of bed in the middle of the night to find the bathroom!
Randy is supposed to start the kitchen this week which be fantastic as only the necessities are unpacked. The pots and pans we must have and 6 plates with assorted plastic cups from restaurants round out our gourmet eating utensils.

On a different note, the sun came out for a short while this morning Yippee!! Probably to celebrate Emma's 15th birthday which is today. I know, let the cliche's start, but I can't believe she is 15!She is a beautiful, funny fantastic girl, and I am blessed to be her mom.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just to make you smile!

Just for grins I thought I'd show you what my basement looks like! We emptied out the two storage sheds we got when we moved in with my sister-in-law. Yea!!!!! I was so excited to get that second one done. Small bites:) We have one more storage shed but it has a lot of stuff we are going to continue to store, hopefully out here in the shed instead of paying someone to keep it for us. There are old doors I've collected, odds and ends of furniture I hate to get rid of, and car parts. We actually have most of the parts for a jeep out there somewhere. I guess its our "someday pile". (Or the beginnings of one heck of a garage sale this spring.) We have filled the shed here, so it might be a couple of months until we can get the rest. Randy is the master packer, so every time I think we can't fit anything else out there he rearranges and it magically empties!!
I've been so busy at work I haven't had time to deal with the piles this week. So Sunday I will take another picture and post it. That is my incentive to get it done this weekend. I don't want you to think we live this way all the time!!