Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bulgaria, yikes!

It's almost here. And I am actually speechless. I have been trying to cram every possible minute into spending time with the kids and well.. packing. Which is rather insane. If I was really ambitious to unpack my camera, I would take a photo of the 9 suit cases and 2 backpacks floating around my house. But then I'd be going backwards, which right now is not good.

Please pray, because I am completely expectant on God. Pray that the kingdom of God is impacted, and that He receives Glory through all that we do. Please pray for our kiddos too, they are a little on the freaked out side. I remember that feeling as a kid, I wish I could protect them from it, but I know overall God can and will meet their needs so much better than I ever could.

Also, there is a little guy that's been on my heart and I was wondering if you would pray for him. His name is Stellen. His mommy can be found here.

See you all in 2 weeks!!! (unless I get an opportunity to post!!)
love to you all-mel!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

the count continues..

so as of today there are *four* days left until dutadaduh Bulgaria. i thought that i have been relatively clam, somewhat sane. but apparently my subconscious has revealed my true inner emotions.
i love sunday naps. love them. love them like elf loves maple syrup. so my wonderful husband woke me up, who love the Lord, was also given the gift of nap loving. and immediately i had to giggle. call it stress, call it attacks, but my dreams are revealing that my cheese has officially slid off it's cracker. and i only had a half of piece in the beginning.

and so it all started something like this:
i was in the back row of church. at my church. and i was surrounded by a bunch of people. one of them was ang and she was singing during worship most beautifully. then i realized that our executive pastor of ministry development (impressed, that i think i got that correct??) - he was all standing there with you know- his dreads- all the way down his back. it intrigued me so that he was able to curl them into perfect spirals. if you know him, you would know that in realty- he does not have dreads, actually- he doesn't have hair, and i think i may have knew that in my inner knower, but yet it was so real, the dream, the hair. and as i admired his locks, i passed out string cheese to everyone around me, finally asking him how- how could you spiral curl dreads so perfectly?

you see- apparently everyone else around me wanted to know this as well and was intrigued by his do. but our senior pastor wasn't the least big amused by the slight hair interruption, and he brought the mic out for us to share .... you remember these days in school- if you have something to share that is so important, please share with the whole class, well maybe not, but i was naughty, *cough*.... he concluded that it may be a good idea for each of us to sing a little note for the congregation.
it was very beautiful, like in the sound of music, pretty little notes dancing through the sanctuary. i hid behind the small crowd, knowing my turn was coming.

yet i was spared! ..and this is when it gets really weird and crazy, you may want to stop here...

he, my pastor, gave me tap dancing shoes and with a blink of an eye (well, not literally, i was sleeping still) somehow i was on center stage. coming from backstage to join me came what had to be a "professional" dancer. she was so elegant, and mesmerized us all. as i watched her do her routine, my mind scrambled. i can almost do the chicken dance, i still struggle with the bazooka bubble gum dance- which by the way, you must learn! i have bazooka bubble gum packed, shhh!(i tried to post a utube, but it didn't work. so u gotta go check it out there to learn the moves.) getting back to the gripping scene.. how was i going to tap dance? it was either going to be a complete failure, or... God was going to supernaturally give me the ability to dance like none other! suddenly, i got really excited. i pictured myself gliding across the stage, amusing the audience with my skills as i tapped away. she motioned that it was my turn. and i danced. and danced.

at first she tried to show me that what i was doing wasn't the planned program. that it wasn't "right." i tried to understand. and then i think she just gave up. and that's when i really began. i let go, and danced away! she attempted to catch me on my jumps- yes jumps. oh how i looked ridiculous. but i felt so free! and i was a dancer, if only for a moment. and with my final leap, i soared off the stage.

well actually plummeted into the audience. what was the reaction going to be, a standing ovation? just as i was ready to pull myself together for my encore, crowd yelling. did they really like me? but then i hear them: "should we take away her shoes?"

and my pastor's response? "take them quickly!!"

i should have been disappointed. i stunk. i stunk way bad. they took away my shoes for goodness sake. but somehow i was so excited. i was dancing if only for my King! is that how David felt?

maybe it had a hidden meaning, that when God or your Pastor calls you to dance, do it onto the King!... even if everyone else chokes on their string cheese! or maybe it's about dreads, curly curly dreads. Or maybe it's about the excitement welling inside, *4* days!!! Now that's real crazy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

journalling from a seven year old's perspective

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

He His teling me wen I get in hevin I will rusev the croun uv life.

so wen God tels me sufing theat is hard I shood stile doo it.

I pray that you will bles evrebudy in the holl werld.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I am ois with you.

God is teling me I don't nede to wery becuas he is ois with me.

I pray you will bles the atherkin (african) kids and grase and edwerd.

*note: spelling abilities directly reflect those of his teacher.

Friday, July 18, 2008

a new do:

each time i was pregnant i had an urge to do something different with my hair. maja was the initial chop. noah went even shorter.. like crazy short. bel was bleach blond with a perm. and when i got pregnant with oli, i vowed not to cut my hair until he was in kindergarten. and i stuck with it, well, kinda except for when i fried it off with the whole pink episode last summer. and well he just turned four. which leaves me with the same hairdo for four years and nine months. straight, long, thin. and it has been fun. but, 30 is around the corner and a girls gotta grow up right. not really, but change, yes.
he's not in kindergarten yet , but with homeschooling, i guess i could say he is right? so i did it. i was cleaning up supper, decided, and went. to the first place. compulsive. so here it is:

since i always have it pulled back, it will probably look the same, even minus the length. but it is complete with a highlight, by my husband. (pat on the back josh) I know, I know, never do that. but when one's compulsive, stand back.

i have always lacked in a sense of style. carpet took me five minutes to pick out: soft and squishy.

as a kid my hair was short and boy like, like me. occasionally an orphan annie fro, when my mom held me down and tortured me.

then there is the subject of clothes. from tomboy then into highschool: vintage grunge. and then my first job at the bank: old people uniforms, ugh!! i turned 70 overnight. i need help people.

and today that was apparent. i can not believe i am even telling you this. in a hurry to gather the kids, lunch, and pool stuff for swimming lessons, apparently i placed my swimsuit top on inside out. don't laugh too much, i realized it. after spending two hours in it. hehe. oh dear.

have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ken Lee

this is bulgaria's music idol.
it's what i am going to sound like trying to speak their language, but without the red dress. hehe.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Where is that line. It's something I've always struggled with. When to put yourself out there and when to sit aside and quietly watch. I do both too frequently.

My heart is breaking tonight. The #1 reason. I don't think I can go to an orphanage. I don't think I can do it. Will me being there make a difference? Why is there such a thing as an orphanage anyway? Honestly? It rips my heart out. Soon I will learn that it isn't a far away thought.

How many times I have heard of starving children in far away lands that I could send the remainder of my unfinished dinner to. I remember seeing the photos of the Holocaust in Jr. High, wondering how it could happen. My heart beating in pain for their faces and torment.

What about an 8 year old little girl selling herself for bread to feed her siblings. What did she do to deserve it? I turn my cheek at her pain, and as I do, she contracts HIV and dies within 3 years. The orphanages already too full for her and her sisters. The drugs too expensive for her parents and now her.

Things are tough sometimes. We have dealt with stinky deep water. I didn't have to drink it. So many times we turn our backs on justice, saying America needs us here. And they do. America needs Jesus.

I don't think it's a dream. I don't think it's a donation. I don't think it's a mission. It's simply justice. It's not about our leftovers.

So you say: what are you doing?? I don't know. But I do know that there are kids out there who simply want someone to tell them they are loved and that God has a purpose and a plan for them. Here and in Africa. My heart turns inside, because I feel as I do nothing. Some days I just want to pack and go. I want to go to the drug representatives as Moses did to Pharaoh and say: Let God's people go! Delivering them from politics and profits. But most days I just wait on Him.

Guess I am a dreamer. Hey, I have something to add to my bucket list. When I have it all worked out, I'll get back to you.

Thanks for listening. I'll let you know about the trips to the orphanages.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Number 4. Ollie: aka: Hollywood. His Sunday school teacher thought that maybe he should re-snap his dress shirt and leave the look for Hollywood, but apparently he enjoyed his new title as he ran through the gym with his shirt open proudly proclaiming, "I'm Hollywood."

We have tried to jam as much pool time and real summer into the past few weeks as possible! Only *17* days before we leave!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bulgaria Countdown...

Tonight I stood behind a beautiful Bosnian family at stuff mart. Apparently, they too needed plastic bags filled with stuffs. I realized how little I know about why they fled to America, about their story. As I asked them, the language barrier soon deterred our conversation. Yet their infant son's beautiful eyes and smile spoke more than a thousand words.

I was at T's house the first time I heard about Bulgaria. I had just told her that we weren't moving, seems God hadn't open the door that even the loudest prayer and cries couldn't knock down. We were empty. It had been an emotionally long haul. I was ready to hibernate for a few years, do some rethinking. We knew that had been obedient, yet strangely the result wasn't our goal or vision. Relieved in some aspects, confused in others. But without any direction at all.

Her basic response was: "Great, you should go to Bulgaria. I'll keep the kids."

At first I thought she was just insane. I didn't even know where Bulgaria was.

And so I stewed. For a long time. I think Josh was convinced way before me. I had already thrown myself into one thing, I wasn't about to jump into something else. I have wanted to go on a mission's trip since I was around 8, before I even had a mission. But to Bulgaria? We committed our hearts a few years ago to a trip and it was cancelled. Then there were the finances. Did I mention that I spent the past summer packing and planning, only to unpack?? So it went back and forth.

Basically it came down to this little nudge, knowing that God asked me to go. I didn't know why. I didn't know what I could offer. I didn't even know for sure that I could trust God.

I checked with T again about the kids, seeing if she was for reals about this: I will take and care for and love your children. And with Shawn. Then, I knew that they were insane.

I guess we were a go...

I tell you this all because it has been insane. The emotions of leaving the kids, the planning (want a dog?), the finances, and then the flood thingy. But mainly insane: God's love and how He lavishes Himself on us. I tell you that I have light understanding of God and how He works, because I really really do. There is no tangible logic to how everything has and continues to work out.

I read of a man in Africa who ran an orphanage and when asked how He knew without doubt that God would provide and bless it, he said, "He has to, it's all for Him, it's all for His glory." Yes, he had struggles, he had sacrifices, and continues to. But God moved.

In Bulgaria, we will be running a VBS, visiting orphanages, hospitals, having services, and ministering to the gypsy culture. I know exactly one word of Bulgarian. Yet, it didn't seem to matter to the little Bosnian guy that I met earlier. I am unqualified. And yet I know that whatever God has started in me, He will complete.

I am so not a confident person. Basically a big dork as most of you know. But I know that this work that He has established is for Him, for His glory alone.

I am so anxious to see their faces, to know their homeland, to see their stories. To share with them my story. How I became a daughter of a king and my prayer, to see others join the family.

Did I mention to you that I got a pretty new shiny backpack at stuffmart, well actually Target, but it's like stuffmart in the way of stuff. So, I am good to go! Well, except for those head pillow wrap things for the plane, which I am not sure that I am sold on... and it's 2 am and I think I have had too much starbucks...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ok so ang and t tagged me for a meme. and since i am hiding away from my children.. shh.. it seems like a good no brainer for hide away time.

Here we go: All of the answers must be just one word.

1. Where is your cell phone? dunno?
2. Your significant other? nerdball.
3. Your hair? messy
4. Your mother? grandma
5. Your father? someday
6. Your favorite thing? adventures
7. Your dream last night? strange
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream/goal? difference
10. The room you’re in? quiet
11. Your church? family
12. Your fear? crawlspace
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? africa
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you’re not? normal
16. Muffins? brownies
17. One of your wish list items? backpack
18. Where you grew up? country
19. The last thing you did? killedthedog
20. What are you wearing? sweats
21. Your TV? bunnyears
22. Your pets? one (t-take the other!!)
23. Your computer? ill
24. Your life? crazy
25. Your mood? odd
26. Missing someone? earl
27. Your car? boat
28. Something you’re not wearing? mittens
29. Favorite store? oldnavy
30. Your summer? starting
31. Like (love) someone? bunches
32. Your favorite color? brown
33. Last time you laughed? t
34. Last time you cried? here
35. Who will re post this? ??

do question marks count? well i guess you can't really fire me.

i tag andrea!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I really like Psalm 73. This guy finds the words my heart longs for. I love the last verse, But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

I wonder if this guy was anything like myself. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God.

Some days I sit in the outer court and bang my head against the door, longing to get in. Looking at my social oddities, my compulsions, my failures as a daughter, my doubts. All that banging around. Longing to get into the inner sanctuary, failing to ask.

How unlogical He is. How I try to understand. Failing to just bask in His faithfulness and character and love. Crazy to think really that He shall be our portion forever. Not fema, not even religious institutions. He alone.

Somehow I have to tattoo this on my heart:
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


the homeowners association in our neighborhood consists of the following members:

recently it was called to my attention that my curbside was filled to their regulations. apparently, you can only have an alloted amount of appliances.

actually, the water heater pick up men are clearing them out fast, goodbye to everyone's new lawn ornament.

our lawn length regulations are specifically: when your neighboring home has grass exceeding your liking: mow it.

a recent photograph of our street

politically our neighborhood is kinda dominated by the hilary clinton loving signs across the street. i don't think anyone else really cares. but they really love the lady.. wait she's done.. right?

we have had volunteers from every religion in swinging a hammer together. and the schriner man who almost ran over our daughter with his winnebago.

speaking of winnies. many of their homes have been so damaged that if they are fixable they are going to move in a winnie for months until they can rebuild. wait, is that neighborhood code?

have i told you guys yet about the african house on the corner? seems they are attending a local college, josh is stalking them. literally. he won't leave them alone. nerd.

when your matching rubber boots are all wading through bacteria sludge together, the oddities disappear. instead of your goofy labels, you have people. real people with hurts and crazy gifts and approaches. and suddenly you can't live without them.

i laugh, for God placed us exactly where we fit. well sorta. all except the whole secret code pin thing, cause i don't think i get that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dear Maja,
I remember thinking, what do I do with this beautiful baby girl with the fullest lips I have ever seen? How do I become a mommy to you? But God had a plan for you honey, God knew I was lacking in so many things. But He fills every gap with Himself. He is going to walk with you so many places, each day I watch in amazement as your adventure with Him unfolds. He speaks into your heart in ways I have yet to understand. Happy birthday to my baby, my crazy firstborn baby!
Love, Mommy