Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Better Together

I had a WONDERFUL time last week while out north for VBS training.  I met some amazing people and put my Creole (the language, not our dog) skills to the test.  Not long into my journey did I realize something was drastically missing...TREY!


You remember that feeling when you would show up to school and realize your best friend was absent?  Who would you sit with at lunch?  Who was going to wait for you at your locker in between classes?  Sure, your day always turned out fine.  But there is no way to deny there was a missing link.  That very feeling was with me for an ENTIRE week.  There is not a doubt in my mind that life is just sweeter with Trey around (awww).

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to travel, and for a husband who encouraged me to go.  However, as I sit in our kitchen this evening putting the finishing touches on our dinner, I am so glad we are back together.

Check out our website, www.bhm.org for some more information about the VBS training.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Midnight Baking

Well, Chelsea made it home safe-and-sound on Friday evening to the wonderful smell of bread...actually I had already finished with it and put it in the refrigerator. 

After my last blog, I only forgot one step.  Which was to put the starter back in the refrigerator before separating it into separate pans for baking.  So don't worry, I was only 5 hours behind schedule.  So, after skipping dinner to try and have the house cleaned and bread done by 7PM Thursday... Let's just say that didn't happen.  I did have the house cleaned by 7:30PM and had to wait until 11:00PM for the bread to have risen enough to bake.  Starting a new business....
Everything turned out great and the bread is wonderful! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Triangle Neck

Over the past few days I have been far far away from our home in Haiti.  I had the opportunity to travel out North to participate in training church leaders for VBS this summer.  There was a lot of sweat, some pretty thirsty afternoons, and enough smiles to make the full-days "oh so worth it."  Myself and 5 others traveled the rough terrain of Haiti for a little less than 10 hours in order to reach our destination on Monday.

I received a great ab work out simply trying to hold myself straight and steady on the bumpy paths, I also had PLENTY of time to take in the sights.  One particular sight caught my attention about 5 hours into the trip, when we stopped at a little market for a needed stretch break.

As I stood outside the vehicle stretching my legs and enjoying a long awaited bottle of water, my attention was captured by these uniquely adorned goats...
The goats were simply going about their own business with these triangle contraptions around their necks.  As I watched, my curiosity was peaked and I began to think about what the purpose of these neck braces were.

I was informed that these "triangle necks" were given to the goats by their owners.  The contraption was placed on the goats' neck to prevent the goats from squeezing through the fences placed around gardens.  Why? You may ask. 

If a goat is found in a garden that is owned by someone else, they will be killed by the gardens owner, no exception.

The goats owner knows its ability to wander.  To say the goat is not the brightest animal in the world would be an understatement.  They simply wander around, nose to the ground, looking for anything and everything to eat.

A slight smile crept on my face as I was learning about the "triangle neck."  It made me think about my relationship with my Savior.  He knows that most times I am not the brightest.  I can get myself into some pretty rotten situations if I am not careful.  However, I am oh so thankful that He does not make me walk around with a triangle contraption on my neck to keep me from danger.

He walks with me day in and day out.  He sent His son to pay the penalty for all my wanderings and sin.  He gave the Holy Spirit to be my guide, to keep me out of gardens that I should not go.

I wonder if at times, to the world, my actions/dress/speech may look as strange as the triangles around the goats' neck?  Unless they know my Savior, they do not understand why I would willingly put on this new life.

I know this because when I saw the first goat in this unique decor, I did not understand.  However, after learning the reason for these contraptions, I found myself searching for goats that were wearing this neck decor on the remainder of our drive.

When I would see goats arrayed in their triangle necks, I knew they were cared for.  As crazy as this may sound, I felt bad for the goats that were not in triangles.  No one cared where they were or what they were doing.

I want to follow my master in whatever way He leads me.  I trust and know that He has my best interest in mind.  Although at times we may seem like "triangle necks," thank the Lord for His care and provision for our lives day in and day out.


God, thank you for caring enough for me that you guide me everyday.  I ask that I would always be searching for you and not lost in my own wanderings.  When I stray, thank you for protecting me in ways I can never imagine.  Thanks for not making me wear these crazy neck apparatuses.  I love you Father. Amen.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Feed the beast!!

Chelsea has been up in the North West region of Haiti for the last couple of days helping train church leaders for Vacation Bible School!  I am sure she will tell you all about it when she gets back on Friday or Saturday. 

In the mean time, it is up to me to make sure the dog is fed, the plants are watered, and the house is clean before she gets back.  Aspiring to be a good husband, those things are normally on the "to do" list. 

However....there is one thing that has fallen to me that I have never done before.  Yes, I have cleaned a toilet, made-up beds, and even swept the floor (a-time-or-two).  But I have never made bread.  Right, I know what your saying...."What self-respecting guy doesn't know how to make bread?"  Don't answer that! 


Chelsea has recently obtained a new bread-starter.  If you've ever heard of these things, then you know that it's easy, but that it must be done on a routine basis.  There are certain days it has to be fed, certain days it needs to rest, and certain days it needs exercise (A.K.A - kneading).  Sounds more like a pet than something you eat...don't understand it myself, this is just what they tell me.

Well, today is feeding day!  Approaching the refrigerator, I am imagining that when I open it, there is this giant gremlin jar chanting...."Feed Me...Feed Me."  Glad to say this was not the case. 

After checking the directions, I suddenly remember that Chelsea had been wanting to share some of the starter with another missionary friend here on the Mission.  I think to myself, "there's not enough in this jar to share...there must be another jar."  Of course, in the back corner of the fridge, there was another jar.  I took the top off and looked down inside, just to be sure.  "Yup, that's it."

Then I start dumping the food (ingredients) in the jar that it needs to eat.  I put everything in and get to the bottom of the list to see that potato flakes are needed.  "Sweet, I know I've see those here."  After 5 minutes of scouring 4 cabinets, I am coming up empty and getting aggravated. 

Chelsea always tells me, if it would have been a snake it would have bitten you.  Wives, I am sure you never deal with anything like this from your husbands. (Side note: In desperation the husband always calls!)
After calling Chelsea to ask where it was, she immediately puts my hand on it. 

While we're chit-chatting and I'm telling her that I am going to give half of the starter to Deborah, she asks what I'm talking about.  Then I go through the explanation of finding the other jar in the back of the fridge.  "What other jar....I gave her the starter last week."    Then I comment, "yeah, there was this other jar in the back corner of the fridge."  "Does it have a green lid on it," she asks.  "Yup it sure does."  Long pause....and then she busts-out laughing!   "That was a month old cinnamon-roll icing",  she said.

Just to let you know...1 month old icing and bread starter look exactly the same!  Both are off-white, super thick, and it doesn't help that my nose has been semi-stopped up.  Let me tell you, that is the first cinnamon roll icing starter that you'll ever find....the first of its kind.  Never to be seen or heard from again!



Tune back!  Tomorrow I am putting the pet through a little exercise routine.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fitness Facts

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a BIG fan of exercise.  This does not mean I do it as often as I should, or that I am amazingly skilled either.  However, I am aware of the importance of regular exercise and the positive effects it can bring.

I enjoy exploring the world of Pinterest for fun quotes and exercise ideas.  I wanted to share with you some of my discoveries.  Here are some inspiring, motivating, and just stinkin' funny quotes I enjoy:
 
1.

2.


soso true


3.

amen


4.

 e cards



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Recognizing our Home

Note:  The following information is based on TRUE events, which have occurred to Trey & I over the last 24 hours.

You Know You Live in Haiti When...

1.  You give directions based on the large cow at the end of the road.
2.  You deliver shot-gun shells to security guards in the morning and evening.
3.  You shake out your clothes, shoes, and hats searching for "creepy crawlies" before wearing.
4.  The sound of roosters crowing at RANDOM hours becomes melodic to you.
5.  You look into the precious eyes of God's children as they sing His praises.


video

This video was taken by me yesterday, while out on a work-site with a team.  The team is building a house for these precious kiddos.  We love our brothers and sisters here in Haiti.  It is a blessing to serve here in this amazing country. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I Have Been Bit

There is a large bug here in Haiti that I have been working oh so diligently to fight since our arrival.  Some days this bug is EVERYWHERE.  In spite of any effort on my part, it continues to swarm, and I continue to swat.  Other days I may go through the morning without any sign of this bug, and then it comes out heavy when I least expect it.  What I have found to be the most frustrating, are the days I never see the actual bug, yet I cannot stop itching the bites from previous encounters.

Is your skin crawling yet?  Mine sure is just thinking about this nuissance.  The more I think about it, the more I realize this bug is not native to Haiti.  I had several encounters with it in the U.S. as well.  It appeared in different circumstances, but the bite was there.  As I have fought this awful pest, I have come to the conclusion that this bug is not in my surroundings, it is inside me!  I have also learned that I am not the only one fighting hard against this vermont, it is inside many of you as well...

I will refer to said bug as, the comparrison bug.  This comparrison bug is by far one of the worst creatures I have encountered, because it is just so consistent and can adapt to any circumstance.  It can make you think things, and wish for things you would have never thought possible!

For example, just a few days ago I was so desiring to have the gift of administration.  Oh to sit in an office and pay attention to details all afternoon.  I was bit, I thrive from people and relationships, not excel docs and spreadsheets!  I have been working on growing my hair out over the past several months.  I recently saw a girl with short curly hair, and was bit again!  I would look absolutely ridiculous with short curly hair, but for a solid hour or so, I was ready to chop off all my hair.
                                                           STOP!

I am pleased to say I have not worked on any spreadsheets today, and my ponytail reminas.  However, I have been thoroughly shocked by how often I compare, without even realizing.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26.  Look this passage up right now before you read anymore.  Okay, I know you are on the internet to be reading this, so just go to http://www.biblegateway.com/ and type in this passage please :)

This crazy comparrison bug may come back often, and be quite the bother, but I have a repellent for this awful thing.

God's word speaks specifically to this bug bite.  The passage in 1 Corinthians uses the body of Christ as a primary place this bug dwells.  I love the simplicity in the comparrisons in verse 17..."If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of smell be..."

What does this terrible comparrison bug do?  He causes me to shy away from my full potential.  He causes insecurities to increase, and paralyzation to occur.  He makes me look for a quick fix, or surface solutions that only lead to more bites.  He brings forth a sense of defeat, this is just the way things are...

Oh how often I desire quick results.  I am not a "crafter", because I simply cannot stand taking on projects that are going to take me more than an afternoon to complete.

Oh the joy that fills my heart when I am reminded about the acceptance and patience of my Savior, who is in it for lasting results.

Phillipians 1:6, "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  He began and will complete.  I and you, cannot do this alone.

This is not a pep talk to tell you, "You can do it!  Fight hard, and think positive thoughts and you will avoid the bug."  It is a reminder to myself, as well as to you to examine your heart and see "oh" those many places you have been bit.  Look intently at the truths of Scripture.  Take heart, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion!  Oh how I long for the day of no more bites! 

Note:  I really was quite itchy the whole time I wrote this blog.  I don't think it is physical results from the comparrison bug, just simply the mosquitos.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Go to Prepare a Place for You...

John 14 is a beautiful passage where we see our Savior Jesus, comforting His disciples, by telling them about the place He is going to prepare for them.  This particular portion of Scripture has been streaming through my head all week.

Monday morning I received exciting news that myself and the ladies who make jewelry, now have a new location to meet!  We have been wanting to add more women to the group for quite some time.  However, it was close to impossible for me to be able to gather more supplies for the ladies if I was having to pack it all up and travel to the church twice a week.  Also, we were quickly outgrowing the two small tables we were given to use in the front of the church.

There are several rooms on the mission property that have not been used for years.  After some time and thought on the logistics, I was given the go ahead to prepare the place for these precious ladies!


As I worked with the ladies on Tuesday morning, my heart was ready to explode inside me with excitement over our new location.  I have not told the ladies about the new location yet, because I want to get it as ready for them as possible before they see it.

I wonder if this is but a small small picture of what the Lord means when He tells us He is preparing for us things we cannot imagine!  This new space will allow more ladies to participate in the program, it will even open the door for other churches to join.  As I think about this time of growth we are in, I am aware that it is no small task.

Preparing a place is not easy!  I spent hours on Thursday afternoon, with a precious woman who helps clean at the mission, sweeping and cleaning and sweeping some more.  Think about the complete sacrifice our Lord has made for us, as he prepares our place.


Above is the floor in one of the rooms I was sweeping.  A building space that has not been used for 10 + years, in the open airs of Haiti can definitely accumulate a HUGE amount of dust and dirt.  I am still cleaning the dirt out of my nose from all the sweeping!  All this interaction with the dirt and grime made me oh so happy that the Lord does not ask us to clean ourselves up before we come to Him!  Deep cleaning is hard work, if not impossible!


Above is one of the rooms after a day of deep cleaning.  The job is not finished yet.  I plan to head to the rooms here in a few minutes and work some more.  I am beyond excited to have a place to store all of our cereal boxes, paper cutters, glue, varnish, etc.  I think Trey is more than ready to have some space in our guest room and in the storage room next to our house.

It is very exciting to think about the next step for the jewelry project.  I have been so encouraged over the past few days with the direction of this project.  School is out for the summer, and several of the ladies are bringing their kids to work with them.  It is neat to see the excitement the kids have over the work their moms are doing.  The moms have taught their kids to make the jewelry as well!


 This is one of the 12 year old sons of the ladies.  He is putting his moms card on each of the necklaces and bracelets she brought on Thursday.  Pray for the preparation of this new place.  Pray that it would be an encouragement to the ladies, as well as a great way to continue to grow the program.  What a blessing it is to see ladies in the church, looking well to the ways of their household, Proverbs 31:27.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Creole...The "Goodmorning Canine"

6:00 a.m. I hear cries coming from our guest bedroom, Creole is awake!

6:10 a.m. Trey rolls over and asks if I am awake.

6:11 a.m.  I remember I promised last night I would get up with Creole, because we have clean laundry in our bedroom floor and I do not want him roaming around in our room.

6:12 a.m.  I am greeted by a wet nosed, affectionate, hyperactive dog.

6:13 a.m.  Creole's outdoor bathroom break is finished and he is back in the house ready to play.

6:15 a.m.  I attempt to spend some time in the Word while little man Creole keeps leaning up against me trying to climb on the couch.

6:30 a.m.  Creole is finally "tired" and walks over to his pillow to lay down.

6:31 a.m.  The stillness of the moment opened up the opportunity for me to lay down on the couch.

6:32 a.m.  The rear end of Creole has once again found its place on me...on the couch.  Not okay.

6:33 a.m.  In an attempt to get our lovely canine to stop eating my good blanket, a game of tug-of-war with his chew toy begins.

6:45 a.m.  The games have ended and all is calm...



7:00 a.m.  NOT FOR LONG, Crazy canine is in my face again ready to go.

7:01 a.m.  I decide its time for him to eat breakfast and spend some time outside.

7:10 a.m.  He is finished eating and crying outside.  He is more than ready to come back in.

7:11 a.m.  I think to myself, "How in the world can Trey sleep through all this?"

7:12 a.m.  The excitement over a full belly and being back inside leads to a time of crazy running back and forth in our house.

7:13 a.m.  He slides into the wall while running...more crying...

7:15 a.m.  My CALM companion has now returned.  He is resting next to me on the kitchen floor.

What a morning!  Maybe the Lord gave us Creole to make a morning person out of me after all...or simply to let me know, the idea of some ruffled up laundry is not so bad after all.

Bon Dimanch!  Happy Sunday!