Trusting

Sometimes music grabs hold of my heart and ministers to me in places where nothing else can reach.  This song, this artist, did that to me, and I have found myself singing this song in particular to the Lord when my ideas don’t match up to reality.  When my desires are so different from His commands.  When my dreams don’t look anything like His.

When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move

When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through

When you don’t give the answers as I cry out to You

I will trust in You

When I hear from home that trials are being faced and everything inside me screams to pack up and go fight alongside my family,

I will trust.

He has it under control.  His ways know the future, His eyes see it all.  

I will trust.

Even when…

I will trust.

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Friends from Texas

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A lovely group of people from Texas came to spend some time with us in our city making friends.  There were two families represented (3 parents, 4 teenagers), and we became instant friends!  They worked hard every day, showing relentless energy and sporting the best attitudes of any group I have been around!  They were such an encouragement to us and the work we are doing here.  We had the pleasure of celebrating a birthday with one of our new friends, and also to have a whole day of rest filled with movies, popcorn, games, and girl talk.

Rest for the soul.

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We laughed until we couldn’t breathe, and went to bed with smiles at the end of the day.  Our hearts were reminded how much we love being around teenagers, and it was simply happy.  We got to see our city and this country through fresh eyes, reminding us of the joy of living overseas.  Experiencing the “firsts” through someone else’s eyes sure makes you see what we take for granted!  The goodbye was a little harder than we expected, especially since these people were strangers 2 weeks ago!  What a blessing this team was to our family and to the local family in our city.

So thankful.

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Flying Weeks of Fun

How fast time flies when you are busy!CHICKEN!

In the midst of the busy-ness of grocery shopping, we made a stop at a chicken place (similar to KFC) for lunch.  We haven’t been there in a very long time, but everyone enjoyed the chicken sandwiches and fried chicken pieces like it was the first taste we’d ever had.  We especially loved that we got to eat our food while wearing plastic gloves.  It truly is a genius idea!  It is much more fun not having to worry about silly things like napkins and chicken oil on your hands.


Happy Independence Day, America!!

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We are so blessed to have people that have become like family on this side of the world.  We all traveled up to Haikou for a weekend of food and fellowship to celebrate the 4th.  There were hot dogs on the grill, REAL hot dog buns!, watermelon, homemade ice cream, sugar cookies, chocolate cake, chips, sodas…all the things necessary to feel like you are in America (mostly).  We played games all evening, then were surprised with a huge lot of fireworks to set off.july4-2

Cam was the only man present when we played with fireworks, so he was in charge of the dangerous lighting task.  We lugged the massive fireworks (these are the kind of huge grand finale fireworks you see in the states at the end of the show) to the tennis courts.

Because that is what you do.  Safe, I know.

There was a basketball game going on next to the tennis courts, and the players didn’t really appreciate the loud booms as evidenced by the covering of ears we saw.  The apartments probably didn’t appreciate the balls of fire pinging off their balcony windows either, but we endure hours and hours of it during the Chinese New Year, so we didn’t let it ruin our fun.

The fun was hampered with the final firework misfired as Cam lit it.  It began shooting as soon as the flame lit the wick, going straight into Cam’s face.  He hit the ground when it hit him, covering his face, and all the squealing women went silent in fear.  We weren’t sure where it got him, but we had to wait until the “show” ended before we could get close.  It broke the bill of his hat (crushed it) and singed his eyelashes, eyebrows, and front of his hair.  We were all super thankful it missed his eyeball (and that he doesn’t have a hairy hairstyle!).  The Lord was definitely with us, preserving Cam’s eye, and we all decided we would leave the fireworks to the Chinese.

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Faithfulness

Every month we send in an overview of the month…things we accomplished, struggles we faces, victories we gained.  This past month, as I told you, was rough.  My overview reflected that.  So, I headed by high speed train two hours north of home to get some encouragement from a lady who has lived here for more than 10 years.

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Evidence of the month:  cinnamon rolls, Bible study, and puppy snuggles.

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My meeting didn’t go exactly how I had envisioned it, but the Father used it for His glory, and it has pushed me outside of what is comfortable to do what is necessary.

The girls and I got out of the house and went for pedicures.  It is a small thing, but sometimes the small things in China can be extremely overwhelming.  This outing, however, was successful and encouraging.

We had people over to our home for dinner (and they brought us 3 beautiful arrangements of flowers!).   While our friends were over, I shared with them this bracelet that I made the week before at a tea I hosted.  It is a tool to share our faith in an easy, comfortable way.  Each charm represents a story from the Word that leads to Him.  As I raced through the stories with our guests, one of them blurted out that she is not a believer.

Put on the brakes.

I was told that she WAS a sister, so I wasn’t really taking the time to tell the story well because I assumed she already knew it all.  I invited her to come back to my home this week so that I could share the whole story with her and let her make her own bracelet.  She agreed!  This is another huge praise on so many levels.  He is faithful.

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I got some patriotic toes on our pedicure date (that also included iced coffee I should add!).

The tea I hosted was a training tea, led by the lady I went to visit.  She taught us the story that goes with bracelet and how to make the bracelets.  I made these cute little petit fours for it.  I have never made them before, and they didn’t turn out at all like I had thought they would, but they tasted great!  They were a little bit like eating a Krispy Kreme donut.  We inhaled them.

Speaking of inhaling…I have tentatively stepped onto the oily bandwagon.  I am undecided what I think about them, but if they prove to do what they claim to do, these will be a lifesaver over here where we don’t have easy (or any) access to common medications.  I have an open-mind, but I am still a bit of a skeptic.  We do, however, love the smell of certain oils in the diffuser! It sure makes the house smell fresh.  And peppermint water has me drinking more water than I thought I could handle!

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And lastly, for your viewing pleasure.

When did my baby grow up?  Thirteen is one month and ten days from now.  I can’t even think about it.

This lady on the train, I fear, forgot her pants.  Or her skirt.  I wondered the whole time I was sneaking a picture if she saw in the mirror that you could see all the way through her tights.  Then I was thankful her panties were full-coverage.  Then I noticed that I was the only one staring.  Things like this are not uncommon at all over here…

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Quiet

There have been no words from me in almost a month.

It has been an emotional, roller coaster of a month.  I left Chiangmai feeling good.  Feeling like this calling on my life is one I can live abundantly in forever.

Instead of daily wishing I wasn’t here, that He would call us back to Texas yesterday.

Then, we got back to China and the culture came crashing down on my head and the enemy launched a full frontal attack.  I have cried.  I have grieved.  I have been angry.

And the baking has been abundant.

I have purposefully taken time every single day to hide alone, with a cup of coffee and my Bible, and dive head-first into scripture because that is the only thing I know of that will take all the emotions away.

And the light is reappearing.

Growing brighter every day because He is faithful.

His love endures forever.

Because He is GOOD.

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