Thursday, July 25, 2013

We're Moving!

The Salter family is not moving, but our blog is!

For the past few weeks we have been working on a whole new look and site for our blogging.

So, as we say goodbye to Salter Seasons, we say hello to Planning in Pencil.


Visit us there today!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

But...

There are not many things in life I dislike more than "confrontational moments."  Those are the moments in life where a difficult conversation simply cannot be avoided.  I recently experienced a "confrontational moment."  Here is how it ended:

Me: "Eski ou compran?" Do you understand?

Other: "Wi, mwen compran..." Yes I understand...

Conversation concludes and I turn to leave

Other (under breath): "Men, mwen pa renmen li." But, I don't like it.

Although the conversation was brief, and there are no hard feelings between myself and the other party, those final mumbled words have played over and over in my head.

But, I don't like it...

How often in the quietness of my heart do I say, "Yes, I understand..." to my Lord, and then gently whisper, "But, I don't like it..."

What does it do to the heart of our Lord when He pours blessing after blessing in our lives, and our response is a simple..."Yes, I see what you are doing...but, I don't like it."

Oh how ugly my prideful heart can be.  I can look and see the goodness of the Lord all around and even in the midst of it all, find myself discontent whispering quietly..."But, I don't like it."

I know there are many areas in my life I am missing the goodness and blessing of my Lord because it does not quite follow suite with what I think "I would really like..."

Matthew 7 and Luke 11 are clear reminders that our Father knows how to give good gifts to His children.

James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

Not only is my Father the giver of good and perfect gifts, He will ALWAYS be.

Have you ever seen a child at their birthday party tear into a gift, only to look up and say, "But, I really wanted ________."

What does this response do to the heart of the giver of that good gift?!

How prideful I am when I secretly say, "But, God...I really wanted it to be like this..."

James 4:6, "...God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Francis Chan's wife recently spoke about James 4:6 and took time to describe the term "Oppose."  Did you know, it means to actively fight against something?  My heavenly father is actively against the proud...

All of my "I don't like it..." moments are ultimately a result of pride.

Please do not misunderstand, our Father knows our thoughts before we think them.  It is before Him and Him alone I can bare all of me...my likes and my dislikes.  I am His child, covered in the blood of His son, and it is in that, I am able to stand confidently.

However, when He opens my eyes to see my prideful heart and my "I don't like it's..." my prayer needs to become, "Lord help me humble my heart..."

It is then with a humble heart His grace is unleashed.  His mercies are new and He is actively ready to change my perspectives.

When tempted to put down the gift and say, "But, I don't like it..." may we recognize our Father, the giver of all good and perfect gifts and humble ourselves to follow His plan.  

Lord help me to say, "Yes, I understand..." and leave the rest up to you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sparkly Green Earrings


Sparkly Green Earrings, by Melanie Shankle was a gift my mom gave me a few months ago.  To be honest, I was not too excited to start the book and simply felt like there were other things I should be doing with my time besides reading a memoir written by someone I had never even heard of.

However, simply a few pages into the book my opinion changed drastically.  The book begins when Melanie and her husband first discover they are pregnant.  Each chapter is full of highs and lows, laughter, and life lessons.  There are so many things from this book I know I will use as I begin my personal adventure into the world of motherhood.  It is definitely a book I believe I will revisit again.

As a girl who loves to hear the thoughts and life lessons the Lord is teaching others, and of course loves to laugh and relax, this book hit the spot for me.  Ladies, definitely consider picking it up for a light summer read regardless of the season of life you may find yourself in.

In case you don't believe me, here is what Beth Moore has to say about it: 

"Profoundly insightful, witty and relatable...Relish this ride-- you won't be sorry you took it!" --Beth Moore

Much love and happy reading to you!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Update

1.  New Playground- Gassaway Baptist Church of West Virginia has been serving here at Baptist Haiti Mission for the past two weeks.  Several of the team members had served with BHM in the past, after their first visit they began to dream of ways they could help improve the work of BHM in a practical way.  Their decision...build Noah's Ark!


Families, friends, schools, and orphanages visit the mission on a regular basis because our property is open to the public.  The Gassaway group desired to build a large play area for the community that would also provide an opportunity to share the Gospel.  The Ark is the result of this dream.  We are so excited about the relationships that will be developed from this project.  True confession, as momma to be I am stoked to think about our child having a place to play one day!  Thanks Gassaway!




2.  Graduations- My time teaching English with the local kindergarten has come to a close due to summer vacation.  Although I miss seeing the kids each week, I'm alright having a few more minutes of "down time".  A few weekends ago the school hosted a graduation for the kiddos.  In true Haiti fashion, it started an hour late, and lasted quite a few hours.  I confess, I snuck out early, but still managed to share my excitement with the teachers and kiddos and get a few cute pictures in the process.


This is one of a few hundred Christian schools connected with our ministry here in Haiti.  The kids who attend these schools are exposed to the truth of the Gospel each and everyday.  What a gift it is to be a part of such Gospel centered work.

3.  Parent Projects- Trey's parents have been visiting us over the past week, and you know what that means, projects are in full swing.  For many months Trey has been working on developing a patio area above where our water cisterns sit.  Ty and Terri have been a huge help this week adding several finishing touches...


Ty's favorite spot is the porch swing.  My handy husband built the swing a few months ago and we are definitely putting it to use.

4.  Baby Update-  We are halfway through week 15 of pregnancy and going strong.  Our last doctors appointment went great and we are excited about all that is in store.  Grandma Salter (still searching for a name for baby to call her) and Trey found some fun baby fabric for our little one...


And, we recently received a baby crib that was used by another missionary family.  It's pretty bizarre to have this in our house, even if right now it is simply used for storage and balancing my hair straightener when I get ready every morning.  Nevertheless, it is one step closer to having baby here with us!




Friday, June 21, 2013

Denise...

After almost 2 years in Haiti, I have become an exercise DVD guru.  No more gym visits, zumba classes, or walks in the park.  But, who needs that when you have DVD's?  I remember watching my Granny do exercise DVD's as a young girl, I always thought she looked quite silly.

Little did I know, I'd be using them "religiously" years down the road.  I've done my fair share of Jillian Michaels, Women's Fitness, and even Zumba (thanks to a great Christmas gift from the hubs).  Now, in the midst of pregnancy, I am discovering a whole new world of DVD's...my favorite so far:





I don't care what anyone says, Denise Austin has been around in the world of work-out DVD's FOREVER, so she must be doing something right.  Although she may not be taking me through boot camp every day, she is becoming my pregnancy coach in the world of fitness.

After busy days, lots of fast talking in Haitian Creole, and taking care of a variety of tasks, it's nice to release and zone out to the "dreamy" voice of Denise (as described by Kilee Bidwell.)

My goal in this, our first pregnancy, is to maintain my physical condition as best as possible.  I want to take care of myself and baby.  And...Trey also wants me to keep happy so my daily exercise is a MUST for those positive endorphins.

There will be plenty of time for boot camps once baby arrives, or perhaps being a mom will be boot camp enough!  If any of you have any other DVD's or must do activities in the world of becoming a mom, please let me know.

Now, off for my daily Denise!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Interesting Facts

Our pregnancy journey has been quite the experience, thus far.

We are currently passed the 1st trimester and enjoying the stage that many refer to as the "Pregnancy Honeymoon."  My physical woes have decreased tremendously and the little baby bump has officially chosen to make an appearance.

It has been a tremendous blessing over the past few weeks to hear from several friends and family and talk about our excitement over baby Salter.  My favorite word from the States concerning baby to be actually happened today when we received the mail.

I had a sweet note from my Aunt Susan informing me that my cousin Grace's Sunday School class was asked to draw a picture of a family member and write an interesting fact to go along with that person.

Grace chose me...



I was so flattered when I heard that she chose me.  But, wait...what in the world would she pick as an interesting fact about me?!




A Pregnet Missonary...that's me!

I could not help but laugh out loud.  These past several weeks have indeed been quite interesting for me as we are navigating the road to parenthood, and doing that in a 3rd world country.  I know our journey will continue to hold many interesting moments and that our Father is walking with us, controlling all, every step of the way.

It is a delight to my heart, to know the Lord has called me for this special time to be a pregnant missionary, and that is indeed an interesting fact.

Thanks for the picture Grace, it is definitely going on our refrigerator!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Becoming...

In my inbox this morning I was greeted with a precious message from Heather; mother of 6, dear friend to my family, and a sister in the faith.  Her words were full of encouragement and have stuck with me throughout the day.

"...You may be a mother many times over but you will never BECOME a mother again.  I pray that you capture this in your heart...be still.  Know that He is God..."  

There are many stages of becoming the Lord allows His children to experience.  I clearly remember a few other key becoming stages in my life.  Becoming a college student, becoming a wife, becoming a missionary in Haiti.

The movie, Becoming Jane, a story written about life events that led to the development of author, Jane Austen has always been quite intriguing to me.  Although I am intrigued by this movie, I must confess I have not yet watched the movie.  I prefer girly films like Father of the Bride, the accents and quick speaking in movies like Pride & Prejudice tend to make me quite sleepy.

What would it be like to have a movie made about all of our times of Becoming?  Would we be surprised by certain parts of our lives that made the movie, which led us to who we are today?  Or perhaps we would be surprised by those moments we thought were huge in our process of becoming, but it turns out they didn't matter after all.

What a gift it is to look back and see the events in life that led us to different places of becoming.  But, oh how easy it is to miss the moment when we are in the midst of those transitional stages, our becoming stages.

Heather is not the first, nor will she be the last mother who shares with me how necessary it is to embrace this special time of Becoming Mom...

It is my desire that the Lord would work in my heart to heed the wise words He is giving others to speak into my life.  I hope to learn what it means to take advantage of the time I have to Be Still, just me and the Lord and the precious life forming inside me. Instead of feeling like I must go go go because once baby comes everything will change.  

I hope to embrace each moment of pregnancy.  Growing and expanding out of my favorite skirts and t-shirts.  Tiny gifts of baby towels and onesies.  Yes okay, even the heartburn and fatigue can be embraced.

I remember being in children's church many moons ago and my teacher told me he had something to show the class.  He had a surprise.  This surprise was something we had never seen before, and something we would never see again.  

As we sat on the edge of our tiny little chairs he pulled out a peanut from his pocket and cracked it open.  He removed the tiny nut from its shell and explained that this was the first time anyone had ever seen this nut.  Then, before we realized what happened he threw the nut into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed.  No one would ever see the peanut again!

We are each in a spot we have never been before and we will never be there again.  How are you doing in your time of becoming?

Psalm 46:10 "Be still (cease striving), know that I am God."





Sunday, June 2, 2013

Out With the Lies

Philippians 4:8 tells us that we are to think on what is TRUE.  I am constantly being reminded, just because a passage of Scripture is familiar to me, does not mean I am walking in accordance with it.  The past two weeks are a prime example.

After my first Dr.'s appointment in Haiti I was informed that I would need to find a place to have blood drawn and have some tests taken.  Simple, right?

This small task turned into quite a stumbling block for me.  At first, I simply put out of my mind the fact that I needed to have blood drawn, after all I had at least a month to get this accomplished.  Then, as time approached I contacted a local clinic to schedule an appointment, and the anxiety began.

I do not like needles!  I can't stand to give blood!  The last time I did this I almost passed out!  What if the person taking my blood cannot understand my Creole and I have a big emergency?!  I'm pregnant, how in the world will I survive not eating breakfast and a curvy drive down the mountain to give my blood?  Did I mention the word blood? And the list continues...

For an entire week after scheduling my appointment I fed myself lie after lie, after lie, as I lived through the "what if's" of the appointment.  Thursday night (the night before my appointment) I was in tears as I sought to convince Trey that I simply could not go through with the appointment.

He listened patiently, but the reality remained, having the tests taken were not an option.  It had to happen.  Fast forward to Friday morning:

I woke up to a settled and calm stomach.  We took the 25 minute drive to the clinic and all was well.  The nurse was friendly and clearly understood my Creole.  A grand total of 10 minutes into the appointment I was checked in, blood taken, and paying to leave.  SUCCESS!!

I feel so silly when I think about all the lies I fed myself for a simple 10 minutes.  I had played out the worst possible scenarios in my head over and over before the actual event and had honestly worn myself down.  All due to lies!


I am currently reading Tamar, by Francine Rivers.  In the midst of some extreme situations Tamar is having a variety of lies told about her throughout the community.  As she struggles to see how people actually come to believe these lies she was hit by the reality that..."A lie told often enough will eventually be accepted as truth."

I find myself in situations like this time and time again.  A small little lie (un-truth) pops into my head and before I know it I believe it to be truth and there is no changing my mind.

Can you relate to this?

The realization of the lies I fed myself over a small, every day detail, such as the blood test, have caused me to search for others lies I am believing.

John 8 describes Satan as the Father of lies.  He desires to see us confused and cause us to doubt.  The very moment I begin to get discouraged over another lie believed, my heart leaps at the reality that I know the TRUTH!

John 14:6, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is TRUTH.  Praise the Lord, as a child of the King, the lies remain just that...lies.

Lord, teach us to think on what is TRUE.  May our hearts be so sensitive to you, that when a lie creeps into our minds we recognize instantly the un-truth it brings and chase hard after you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunshine & Sister Visits



My sister Dalice has been serving in Haiti, and spending time with us over these past two weeks.  Today my precious husband surprised us with a trip down the mountain to a local hotel and pool.  I so enjoyed having a break from the "norm."  

Today was the first time I had been in a swimming pool in at least two years.  I think mommy & baby are going to crave more swimming days in the future.

We are so thankful for sweet visits with our spunky sister!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"A New Normal"

10 Weeks Today!
 

Pregnancy Signs:  Exhaustion.  Afternoon naps that only leave me wanting more.  Gag reflexes when I brush my teeth.  Oh, and this lovely thing called heartburn, ouch!

Since we found out our exciting news about Baby Salter I have secretly been longing for the end of the 1st trimester.  Week 14...the time of restored energy, adios to nausea, hello to the "safe zone", and so many other things.  I then received an e-mail from a dear friend who is months ahead of me in the mommy world and here is what she said:

My tiredness subsided some, but it didn't completely go away...just a new normal.

Just a new normal?!  What kind of encouragement is that to one who is struggling to keep her head off the pillow at 8 p.m. every night?  It was then, while reading that short little message, my heart was put in check.  What if my symptoms do not change?  What if this is my new normal?

As the seasons of life change, we all receive new normals.  We have 2 options, choose to be content in them or choose to be miserable and wish them away.  Choose.

As much as I may want to wish away my physical woes at this point, that is not an option. In my husbands terms, I am "putting my big girl pants on and dealing with it."  This is not to say I pretend my current situation is not difficult, instead I choose to embrace it and be thankful rather than dread it and be miserable.  Thankfulness.

The mornings when I wake up and my stomach is not happy with me, I thank God that Baby Salter is doing well as I nibble on a saltine cracker.  

When I am not able to travel out to far places in Haiti and serve with our mission teams, I thank God for this time He is preparing me to be mommy to our little one, and how many precious one-on-one moments we will have in the years to come.  

When my emotions become so out of whack all I want to do is cry and dream of strawberry milkshakes from Chick-fil-a, I thank God for giving me a husband whose shoulder I can cry on and the comfort in knowing this too will pass.

As I am in the midst of our "new normal" I am reminded of friends and family members who are entering new normals as well.  My sister who leaves for college at the end of the summer, parents who will have an empty nest, friends who are preparing to change cities as they follow the call of the Lord on their lives to spread the Gospel, and the list continues.

It is then my heart delights to know this stage of a "new normal" is not just a time for Trey & I, but a time for us to lift up in prayer those who are in the same situation, even though our circumstances may differ.  So, if the new normal is where you find yourself today, Choose Thankfulness.  After all, when our hearts and minds are filled with thankfulness it does not leave room for anything else.

Philippians 4:4-7, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be made known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Our First...


You have heard it said, there is a first time for everything.  I still vividly remember my first date with Trey.  I remember the first time we held hands, the first time he said he loved me, and the first time we kissed.  I am blessed beyond words to get to live a life of so many firsts with the man of my dreams…

And, today, there is not a doubt in my mind we will always remember the day we found out we are having OUR FIRST CHILD!  That’s right…


WE ARE PREGNANT!

Little Baby Salter has been a part of our family a little more than 2 months now.  We expect to meet this precious FIRST addition to our family in December.  It is official, today is my first Mother’s Day!  We thought this would be a special way to share the news with you.

Above: My first Mother's Day gift from our Momma's in America :)

The past several weeks have consisted of countless naps, many meals prepared by Trey because of my insanely strong sense of smell, and quite a few tears for unknown reasons.  Ah, pregnancy bliss =) 

We have had our first Dr.’s appointment and were able to hear our precious baby’s heartbeat.  We know this is only the beginning of a wonderful journey the Lord has set before us.

Above:  Posing with our ultrasound picture after our first appointment!

Would you join us as we pray for this special child with which the Lord has blessed us.  We pray for the growth and development of this little life, knowing that our Father is knitting him/her together this very moment.  We pray for peace and calmness during this time of such extreme FIRSTS.  The Lord is good and gracious and we are so thankful for this opportunity!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ponder Anew What the Almighty Can Do...

For the past several days I cannot seem to get enough of the song, "Praise to the Lord The Almighty"  Here's a little listen for you:

 


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
The King of creation
O my soul, praise Him
For He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration

Praise to the Lord
Who o'er all things so wonderfully reigneth
Shelters thee under His wings
Yea, so gladly sustaineth
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth

Praise to the Lord
Who doth prosper they work and defend thee
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
If with His love He befriend thee

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him
All that hath life and breath
Come now with praises before Him
Let the 'amen' sound from His people again
Gladly for aye we adore Him

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Snip-Its



Whirlwind, jam packed, 24/7...these are a few phrases that would describe the past two weeks for us.  I must admit I am slightly overwhelmed at where to begin and what to say...let's just say A LOT is going on here in our little Haiti life and we are thankful for this journey.  Here are a few highlights to get us back on track:


-We have just completed 2 back to back weeks of hosting teams from the U.S. who came to serve with Baptist HaitiMission.  6 new homes have been built for families in the community over the past 2 weeks.  We are so thankful for the relationships we formed as we worked alongside these teams and for the impact the Gospel is making throughout Haiti.


-Yesterday was a great Saturday afternoon for us.  We did a whole lot of not too much, and it was very enjoyable.  I cut Trey's hair for him yesterday.  Thank you YouTube for your help, I spent a good part of the morning watching video's on "How To Cut Men's Hair" and it all turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.


-After a busy few weeks, and preparing for the start of another, we decided to spend a Sunday morning just the two of us at home for worship.  We joined Pastor Johnny Hunt and FBC Woodstock in GA via the internet this morning.  It is incredible that we can sit in our house in Haiti and worship with our family in GA.  Now...if only we can figure out a way to get burgers from Canyons for our Sunday lunch, we would be set!


-Last weekend my little sister Dalice turned 20, and today my older brother Dempsey turns 26!  I think it is safe to say, our "little family" is quite grown up.  My mom still claims to be 35...my math skills aren't the best, but I can still see something is not adding up.


-I have a new addiction, a website composed of Blogs by Missionaries all over the world!  I love checking in and hearing the honesty as well as receiving encouragement from these women.  I've even been blessed to stumble upon quite a few blogs from sisters here in Haiti.  What a small world this is becoming!


-Have a restful Sunday!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ramblings of a Crazy Canine

Well, it's the start of a new week and I must say, things are a tad different around here.  Last week, Girl Salter had visitors from her family and boy did we have a good time!


I was treated to a surprise bath last Monday.  Even though the water was extremely cold I enjoyed all the attention I received!  Oh, by the way, I realize I look ridiculous in the picture above.  I was pleasantly relieved when Boy Salter finally came home and I was no longer the only man around.

Although I was not taken on many of the visitors adventures, I know they had a good time...

They made jewelry with Girl Salter and her friends.  They even went to the Kindergarten to teach, I have always wanted to go there!  At the school they taught the children about all the animals God created.  I thought for sure they would take me...after all, I am an animal!


I suppose I understand why they did not take me.  I tend to make the small people cry because I can look them eye to eye.

I was happy to see my people have such a good time with their visitors.  They took me on walks every night.  I even got to lean on the furniture when Boy Salter was not looking.  

Sweet visitors, know you can come back any time.  And when you do, don't forget the dog treats.

 
I heard my people talking last night, it seems we have another visitor coming in May.  I hope she likes me!

 

 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Team Time!

This time last week, 71 students and leaders connected with Crossings Ministries in KY, traveled to Haiti to serve alongside Baptist Haiti Mission.  24 of these were from my home church in Corbin, KY.  2 of these were my Mom & my sister Maggie!

Now, one week later, the team from Crossings has returned to the U.S. and we are spending a few extra days with mom & Maggie.  There are so many things to share about the ministry that took place last week.  Here are a few pictures for a little "sneak peek"...


A very full Tap Tap (Haitian taxi) taking some of the group to the market & then heading to the work site for a day of Vacation Bible School.

 
Mother & Daughters, enjoying the ride!
 
 
A few of the boys at Vacation Bible School gearing up for games & recreation.
 
 
Maggie has always been a kid magnet!  It turns out she's a pretty good pillow as well.
 
 
We have been so encouraged by the work of this special team last week.  We are also very blessed to now have a few days of rest with some of our family.  I'll post more information and photo's in the days to come...Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thank You?


It is a crisp Fall day.  Boy and Girl go for a walk in the park and enjoy the changing of the leaves as they walk hand in hand.  Boy stops and asks Girl to sit and talk for a bit.  While talking, Boy looks deep into Girls eyes.  Very intentionally, Boy says the three most relationship changing words to Girl, "I love you."  Girl is overwhelmed, estatic, head over heals for Boy and responds..."Thank you."

Wait, what?!  Thank you?  What type of a response is this when someone tells you for they first time EVER they love you?  I wish I could say say I do not know the Girl in the story.  Instead, I have to confess...I am the Girl.  During a walk in one of our favorite parks in Louisville, KY Trey told me for the first time he loved me...and I said Thank You.  Who does that?!

Today, as we celebrate our 3 year anniversary, I cannot help but laugh as I think about our beginning.  We have indeed come a LONG way!

I waited to say "I love you" to Trey, not because I was uncertain, but because I did not want to say it for the first time to him simply as a response.  Oh the many mind games when it comes to matters of the heart...seesh!

As confusing as the dating years may have been, the Lord taught me so much about His character as He drew Trey and I together.  We know that we Love the Lord because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  Our response to the Love of our Lord is to love Him in return.

My "Thank You," to Trey was not enough when he told me he loved me.  He was not searching for a word of affirmation from me, he was searching for my love in return.  The same is true with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Of course my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for the love of my Savior.  But, my entire life is changed as well.  The Lord desires for me to express my love back towards Him.  This is done through my words, my attitude, my daily choices, my life!  3 years into marriage and I am still learning how to communicate my love to Trey.

50 years from now I am sure we will still be laughing about the story of how I simply said "Thank You," when he first told me he loved me.  I am thankful for the lessons learned from our early years, and I look forward to many more!

I Love You Trey Salter, Thank You for loving me too!

Time for our First Kiss EVER!

One of the GREATEST moments.
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reunited

You know those days that just make your heart feel good deep down inside?  Today was one of those days for me...

We spent the day showing some visitors a variety of churches connected with Baptist Haiti Mission. One of the locations we traveled to was the home of Pastor Ellison. Upon arriving in Haiti we stayed with the Ellison family to begin "grunting" our way through Haitian Creole and be exposed to the in's and out's of our new home. 

Today was the first time in over a year we were able to return to the town of our sweet Haitian beginnings and see this family.  And, this time we could speak!


Although our visit today was quick, the reunion was wonderful, and hopefully the first of many.  Of course, as we sat and chatted I could not help but snap a photo or two of some of the precious kids we enjoyed playing with for many long and sweaty hours when we first arrived in Haiti.

  
Oh how sweet it is to reunite with families who are passionate about the gospel and making an impact in their community.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

You Think You Know...

Life 1

The rooster crows and the sun begins to reach out through the darkness.  A worn down metal pot is placed above the fire and a breakfast of sauce and noodles is prepared.  She wakes her children and begins to put them into their school uniform, and gently wipes the dirt and mud off their shoes from the previous day.  The eldest has just returned to the house after gathering water for the family.  Now it is time to wash hands and faces before making the 2 hour journey down the dirt path to the school house and market.

Later, after the sun is high and hot, the children return from school.  The aroma of seasoned rice and beans fills the air and stomachs groan as they anticipate the satisfaction that awaits.  The day continues as it did the day before...sweeping, hand washing clothes, and strengthening relationships.  This is life, the day the Lord has made.

Life 2

The alarm clock sounds, how can she already be behind?  She rushes into the kitchen and cereal is poured for the hungry mouths that will soon awake.  Tennis shoes, back packs, and lunch boxes flood the kitchen as the morning routine is in full swing.  She kisses each cheek, says her "I love you's" and everyone is out the door.

3 p.m., waiting in the school pick up line for the children.  Ballet lessons, basket ball practice, and a quick drive through the pharmacy.  Household chores, home cooked meals, after school play dates.  This is life, the day the Lord has made.

Life, it is happening all around us.  Every day babies are born, funerals are held, marriages begin, sickness arrives, and obstacles occur.  Wherever the Lord has placed us, geographically & spiritually, He is teaching us.  The longer we live, the more we think we know.  In a lunch conversation today with Trey and 2 new friends of ours, a familiar phrase kept playing over and over in my head, "you think you know, but you have no idea."

As we talked we discussed a variety of things the Lord was teaching us.  Personal lessons, as well as just discoveries from life overseas.  The conversation led me to think about my sisters in the U.S. as well as those in Haiti.  We are all working so hard in this thing called life, just trying to figure it out, and often simply doing one day at a time. 

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1 Corinthians 2:9- "...'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived,' the things God has prepared for those who love Him..."
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I think I know so much, but the Word of the Lord teaches me...there is more to be made known!  I am pleased to say, by the Lord's grace, I know more today than I did yesterday.  But, there is so much more!  Life is more than what we see and experience day in and day out.  Our lunch conversation could have left me overwhelmed and anxious, but gently and quietly in my spirit as the conversation continued I was comforted by my Lord...

My sweet daughter, keep learning, keep searching, keep asking questions, I have such big things in store for you!

My friends, would you join me in the task of learning, searching, and asking, as we see what God has prepared for us as we love Him?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

B-E-A-UTIFUL!

You can cross the ocean, change cultures, study a new language, and in the midst of so much change some things will always remain the same.  Every girl, young or old, wants to be beautiful.  We desire to be accepted, pursued, and loved.  Although our "styles" of beauty may differ, the heartbeat for beauty remains constant.

Tuesday morning I watched as 3 of our new artisans were being trained to make earrings.  Their was extreme focus and consentration as the steps were explained.  With steady hands the women worked to make the earrings just right.



 A few moments later, the scene changed as one of the artisans discretly put on one of the earrings.  I sat down next to her and told her she looked beautiful.  At first, Denise was embarrassed I had noticed her wearing one of the earrings.  But after complementing her, she looked around the room with a new confidence and the other ladies asked if it would be okay if they too tried out a pair of earrings.
 


As the ladies laughed and admired the new beauty they were modeling I was reminded of the lyrics to the Bethany Dillon song, Beautiful
 
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful
 
The song continues by mentioning a variety of ways and places we search for beauty.  I love wearing earrings and having cute clothes, but our beauty is not found in our outward adornment.  May we never forget the source of our true beauty, Christ alone...
 
You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend Review

It's been a great weekend here in our little corner of the world.

Friday night consisted of a fun filled evening of laughter and Catch Phrase with some of the missionary staff here at BHM.

Saturday was Trey's 25th Birthday!  I am so thankful the Lord brought this man into the world, I'm convinced he is the best thing since sliced bread.  We began the morning with french toast and presents.

For lunch we ventured down to Petionville and ate at a cute restaurant called "The Lunch Box."  It had a boardwalk feel, I enjoyed a Chicken Salad wrap & Trey had sushi!  We will definitely be going there again.  It's amazing the places you can find.

The day concluded with a homemade Buttermilk Chocolate birthday cake and an episode or two of NCIS.  The cake was delicious, I was so relieved when the recipe worked flawlessly at our high altitude.  If you've read any of my other blogs about food, you know the first time trying a recipe here can be pretty scary.

Birthday picture after having our second helping of cake an ice-cream!
For church this morning we attended the closing ceremony of the Annual Church Conference BHM has been hosting. Over this past week 250+ pastors from all over the country have been on our property for the annual conference. They have participated in meetings and sessions given by pastors and other guest speakers as a time of encouragement. 

It was a joy to worship with so many men of God who are faithfully serving in the church throughout Haiti.  I hope to post a video and some pictures from this time in the days to come.  Join us as we continue to pray for the church and look for ways to come alongside our brothers and sisters here in Haiti.


Thankful for a weekend of celebrating and refreshment.  Come on Monday, we are ready for you!