60 minutes of pleasure, 30 minutes of torture

Mom and I went on one last adventure yesterday before she heads back to the mother land. We went for a massage.  Massages here are a little different than they are at the spas in America.  Here are a few differences:

  • it doesn’t smell nice
  • you get a foot soak in boiling water first
  • it’s really cheap
  • the people may be making fun of you but you’ll never know
  • you don’t strip down voluntarily
  • nothing is gentle
  • cries of pain don’t change the circumstances

I am sure the list could go on and on, but I will stop there and tell you about our experience.  It started with a wooden pot of boiling water that they wanted me to submerge my feet in.  I struggled with the desire to keep the skin on my feet and letting it be melted off, but I caved into the peer pressure and sucked it up.  After the nerves in my feet were burned off (or so I thought), the torture began.  My lady started digging into my feet with steel knuckles.  Not really, but it felt like it.   I laughed and cried out in pain, but she only smiled and nodded back to me.  Now, don’t picture her as on old Chinese woman…she was young.  She most likely understood some English, but I think she found great pleasure in my yells.  After the foot relaxation was complete and my neck muscles were more knotted up from clenching in pain, they left the room.  I wasn’t sure if I got us the right package deal and they were returning, or if we were done and should leave.  So, like any normal person, we sat and waited.  We actually turned off the TV that they had put on for, well, for some reason that I didn’t understand since I literally couldn’t understand the TV, and turned on some praise and worship music on the ipod.  Then we lounged on the bed eating watermelon.  Sound like royalty, don’t we?  Lucky for us, they returned.  This is where it got interesting.

Mom likes her massages, and she was intent on getting the most out of her massage.  What that means is that she really wanted to disrobe so they could massage her better.  I, on the other hand, wanted to wear leggings and a turtleneck so they couldn’t touch my skin.  Mom may have tried to remove her shirt twice one time, but the lady kept saying no.  So, imagine my surprise when 3/4 of the way through our 90 minutes, the lady lifted my shirt (I was on my stomach) a little bit.  At first I thought she was going to rub my lower back, but then, in one swift motion, she unsnapped my bra and pulled my shirt over my head.  Where it got stuck.  So I was laying down with my arms straight in front of me (picture Superman), my bra and shirt all tangled in my arms, and she was done helping me.  So, I had two choices, remain in the highly awkward position I was in, or lift up, baring parts of me that no one needs to see to untangle myself.  I really wanted to just lay there.  But because I care about looking stupid, and was already feeling highly humiliated, I went ahead and finished undressing.  Then, horror of all horrors, she yanks my shorts down and exposes half my rear end.  Well, I never!  I thought that all my pride was stripped away after these events, but the small woman had another trick up her sleeve.  She started pounding on me, making all my, ahem, less than muscular parts jiggle.  And when I say jiggle, I mean it was so bad that she started laughing.  So then I was laughing, making the jiggles escalate even more.  It was at this point that I decided I need to make a date with some weights (as I sit here with a latte and a cookie, but that’s beside the point).  

It really was a good massage.  Mostly.  When I factor in that we paid $22 for 90 minutes of massaging, I deem it as a stellar deal!  I may not be able to move today because she relentlessly pressed on all the knots in my neck, but surely that will go away…right?!

Anyone want to come for a visit?  I promise to take you for a massage.  My treat.

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Never thought that would be us…

We have these friends, from Veribest, that I grew up with.  I went through youth group with them, watched them fall in love, was there at their weddings, when their babies were born, you know, milestones of life.  I got an email a couple weeks ago saying that they were sending us a box.  Part of me was surprised, because, well, I’m always a little surprised when someone wants to sacrifice what they do to mail us a package.  The other part of me wasn’t at all because these two ladies have always been generous and supportive.  Always.  Then a follow up email was sent, almost an afterthought, to let me know how the box came about.  It said,

 “I think I forgot to mention that instead of gifts for Karter and Lexi’s birthdays, they collected items and money for shipping.  Just wanted you to know that it was a group effort and many people helped contribute to the box. :)”

I never in a million years thought that we would be the ones people collected things for…we aren’t special.  We aren’t in need.  We aren’t deserving.  It made my eyes fill up with that familiar wetness and my heart speed up, and I was filled with a gratefulness that there are people who love us…who want to support us…who want to make happy days happier and sad days joyful.  And for a moment, albeit a short moment, I was speechless.

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This is the first time a package has come while the girls were home and we were having class.  They thought they would die having to wait an hour until our class was over!  Ha!

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 See that blur?  That’s because Ellie ripped that Barbie out of the box so fast the camera couldn’t catch it!

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They started throwing stuff out in their excitement…except Ellie.  She was working one-handed, not willing to let loose of the Barbie.

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Little bead pets!  This is so right up the girls alley, it isn’t even funny.  And look at Ellie’s legs…they look so very long and monkeyish, almost like she isn’t a baby anymore…but I am not willing to concede that truth just yet.

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They are still pulling things out…and I’m pretty sure someone threatened the life of Ellie’s Barbie (as she is now being called).

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Do you see the cuteness of these dresses?!!  Gracie has already declared hers as her “first day of school” outfit, and the other two didn’t want to take them off.  They may all be matching the first day of school…how adorable and blackmailish will that be?!!

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Somebody was really excited about iTunes.  I’m not sure what she has up her sleeve, but this is a time when I am thankful we all share an account and apps!

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I can’t even begin to express the joy it brings my heart to see Faith excited about books.  This was a long time coming!  She immediately sat down and began to read.  Love it!

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I’m not sure who is prettier…Barbie or Ellie.  She has played with her all afternoon.  Barbies just never get old!

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Let me tell you a little story.  *disclaimer…this may be waaaaay too much info for the guys*

One evening as I was getting dressed after my shower, I had this thought of needing new underthings.  Holiness isn’t a virtue in panties.  And then I thought, “hmmm…can I buy those here?  I’m a little larger than the average Chinese woman, you know.  And ugh.  I don’t want to ask someone to mail me that!”.  The next morning, an email was waiting in my inbox…the one I mentioned above…and in it she asked me if I needed anything else I can’t get here, such as Victoria’s Secret panties.  My mouth literally dropped open.  I couldn’t believe that in less than 12 hours, He was fulfilling a need I had just barely thought of.  Two needs actually, because she also asked about make-up and I had thrown my empty container out the week before.   I realize that these may not actually fall into the need category, but I would really prefer not to go without either. 🙂  I love when He shows me that He is in the business of not just providing the necessary things of life, but in blessing His people abundantly!

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