Thursday, December 31, 2009

He Found His Fingers...

...and now he will eat them.

I think he's pretty sweet myself.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve

My favorite people.

Family Picture.

More pictures here:
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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Ride

“Journal every day!” My mom told me this after I told her about my discoveries lately. “It'll be a waste if you don't! Even if you only get in two sentences a day, journal every day!” She's right, with a man like mine, there will be plenty to write about.

About my discoveries, I've been reading Debi Pearls, Created To Be His Helpmeet. It's been freeing and challenging. I think one thing that really blessed me about reading it was the fact that she speaks right to the desires of my heart—really, the life she's calling women to is a life of doing the things that God has built into us to desire to do. There's really nothing I rather do other than being a good wife and mother.

She talks about three different kinds of men. My man would be who she would call, Mr. Visionary. Visionary men tend to be intensely focused on one thing at a time, yet easily distracted. Here's a bit of what she said that really says it well. “Visionary Man will take the trash out if he remembers it. But, he may also end up inventing a way whereby the trash takes itself out or is turned into an energy source, or he may just waste a lot of time building a cart for you to take it out. He will not mind cleaning up if he notices it needs doing, but he may get so deeply involved that he decides to paint while he is sweeping, and then switch projects before he gets finished painting. And he will likely be irritated when his wife nags him about it.” That is so my man!

Visionary men are “adventure men,” who seek out the world's problems to solve them. They are constantly moving from one project, and/or location, to the next. Debbie says to get on board and enjoy the ride. That's what I needed to hear.

The idea of moving to the other side of the city has seemed big and scary to me. But I've been beginning to realize that I need focus on the things that are exciting to me, count my blessings, and, well, get on board! That's what Debbie's book made me realize even more. “Enjoy the ride,” Debbie says.

So that's why Mom says I need to journal. Because it will be a ride. And Debbie says to cultivate joy—so we shall have a joyful ride.

About my “ride” this week. Dru was sick with a bad cold and sore throat. It hampered his abilities to work very well, but he pushed through. I'm never sure if I should tell him to go lay down and sleep for a while...or what. Then I got the stuff. Today I felt much better but have a breast infection, or something like that. Which put me out of commission and now my house is falling down around my ears.

Mae Wahn came up to hold Jube this evening and we discussed lots of things and I actually enjoyed myself. Sometimes, and shame on me, I feel threatened and unsociable when she comes up but it's all my own fault and it's one of the things I need to get over so that I can “enjoy the ride.” She told me one especially interesting thing. She has been having a hard time keeping her hired help. She told me that it's because some of them don't like the idea of Mae Wahn washing the farang's (that is, the IGo student's) underwear. In Thailand it's generally considered poor etiquette to take your underwear to the launderer but Mae Wahn over looked this breach and happily washes the underwear by just throwing them in the wash machine. The farangs didn't know any better and Mae Wahn, needing friendship and business, didn't say anything. I've asked her about it before and she didn't mind, and she still does it, not minding. But she works very hard because she can't get consistent help. Yet she told me, as best as I can translate, “The IGo students are my children. I can wash their underwear and mend their clothes.” Truly, they are some of her closest friends here—and sometimes, I think, her only friends. But she can't seem to explain that to her hired helpers.  

I wonder if her Thai helpers feel awkward with her relationship with the farangs. They really aren't used to friendship with no strings attached. All relationships are based on the status of the individuals involved and the individuals in a relationship are generally never equal. Someone is always indebted to the other. But Mae Wahn is soaking in the love and reciprocating in the ways she knows how...this year she's even gone to see people off at the airport a couple of times, and out to eat with them.

After our chat, in which we also discussed Joy's grandmother dying without knowing Jesus—in which she really listened, she left. Later she came back with supper for us from KFC. What a wonderful friend! We talked some more over supper and afterwards, we showed her the difference between a chain saw and a timber harvester and talked about the dangers of the logging profession.  

So that, my dears, was the ride for the week—so far. Tomorrow Kris flies back to the states and we have a Christmas party in the evening at IGo for the community. Then Sunday there is another Christmas party on Sunday with the CMCC people—a men's party and a women's, happening simultaneously. Monday is the Christmas party with the children at CMCC... There's a wedding Christmas Eve that we can't decide if we should go to or not. Christmas Day evening Craig's and all the loose singles will be here. I think that's all of the parties coming up.

So Merry Christmas to you all. And in the spirit of Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone!”

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Christmas Baby...

Today, Dru and I put up the the Christmas decorations. Mae Wahn came up and watched and helped. Tonight while Dru was gone, I was taking care of my sleepy baby and looking at my lights. My Nebraska puzzle had fallen out while I was arranging the living room shelf and I was trying to put that together between talking to my baby and feeding him. And I had to think of Christmas a year ago...

A year ago right now I was ready. I wanted a baby. Dru and I would occasionally wonder if we should be worried that something was wrong. We'd wonder how long we should wait until we decided to do some investigation. But at the same time we knew that it was okay. The Lord's keeping His blessing of a child from us was a blessing in its self so far. His timing would be perfect.
Right around Christmas time I found myself seriously thinking of how wonderful it would be to have and hold my own baby. I was also somewhat lonely. So one day, in my quiet time, I prayed about it. I just told God that I was ready now and I really wanted a baby. Even as I asked I had that peace in my heart that God had heard. It was amazing and hopeful. I didn't tell Dru about that experience though, not right away. It was something at was too special and close to me yet to tell about it. I just "pondered these things in my heart."

Then around the middle of January, I found I wasn't feeling well at all and I simply couldn't understand it. We were doing a home stay with Pastor Kiat's family that week and the rice I usually ate fine threatened to come back up in the mornings. Saturday morning after we were home, I did a pregnancy test. Sure enough, I was pregnant.

After doing the math, it seemed highly probable that the baby had been conceived very nearly at or around Christmas time. It was very special for me to realize that my baby came as an answer to my prayers. God heard and cared and loved me.

So Jubilant is my Christmas baby. I'm so thankful for the little family God has given me. He is good and faithful and His timing is perfect. Had Jubilant came along much sooner it could have been quite stressful with everything that was going on in our lives at that time. But now, now it's perfect. So although we're away from family once again this year for Christmas--we're truly our own family now, and I'm so thankful and happy, and, well, proud of my little, happy, healthy family, with our ownty-donty little traditions. God is good! And Jubilant IS a blessing from the Lord!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Tribute to My Dad...

It's Father's Day in Thailand. I cried a year ago when our church at CMCC had their Father's Day service. The little girls sang a song for their dads. Pii Noom dedicated a song to his dad, Pastor Kiat. And I cried, and cried, and cried. I was suddenly so hopelessly homesick and missing my own dad.

I don't know what I'll do this year. I'm not sure if they will celebrate the dads this year like they did last year. Maybe I'll cry, maybe not. But right now, I'm going to celebrate my own dad.
People who don't know my dad well might say he's a quiet sort of person. I never really thought of my dad that way. He always made himself known when he wished it that way. Here are some random memories of my dad.
  • Saturday mornings when we were slow and getting out of bed he'd offer to, "Sing to you." This offer would occasionally come while were driving down the road, but often it was associated with waking us up.
  • One summer he bought a big orange boat and we fished often all summer long. I will always remember that summer as very special.
  • When I found myself in a situation where I simply didn't know what to do and emotions would muddle things, he would help me step back and look at the big picture.
  • Once when Jenny and I were in the thick of our teens my mom was concerned about us in relation to the guy friends in our lives. I'm not sure what all was involved in that, but I remember that Dad was going to take us out for supper to talk about it. The subject was brought up, Dad spoke about two or three sentences on the subject, and that was it. Jenny and I sort of giggle about that. Apparently that was all that was needed because we're both happily married and neither of us have scars from our past that I know of.
  • Dad had a way of asking for a hamburger at the most inconvenient times. Usually on Sunday evening I believe. Us girls would have a way of trying to skillfully evade him when he was starting to show signs of hunger. We preferred not to be the chosen cook.
  • Or he would do his own cooking...that usually happened on Sunday morning...
  • Dad was the one who let me go to school that last year. I was going go home school with the rest of them, but I begged really sweetly and he gave in.
  • My siblings still say he has a way of listening if I beg really sweetly...
  • It could be late at night and he might be tired, but if one us children said we needed to have a private chat with Mom and Dad, he'd take time for it.
  • He had absolutely no time for lying. He hated being lied to and would have none of it in his children. I am so grateful for that. He is a man of truth.
  • Being a man of truth he also "cuts to the chase" to use his own words. He says what he means and means what he says.
  • Dad was "there" for me even when I taught school in Idaho. I specifically remember when the church choir was going on tour and I was exhausted and had a cold. I did not want to go and felt like I had a lot of pressure to go. He told me I wasn't allowed to go. Wow!!!
  • Home was safe. Always.
  • Once someone, I think it was my Grandpa Sid, asked Dad how he raised such a nice family. He said it was by the grace of God. It's true, Mom and Dad weren't perfect, but yet they depended on the Lord and now all of their children are walking with Him. And now I look at my own short comings and a potentially big scary future and realize too that it shall be by the grace of God that Dru and I can bring up Jubilant for the Lord. Hearing my dad say that, humbly, to Grandpa had an unforgettable impact on me.
Being over here has taught me even more how blessed I've been to be your daughter. Here we're among young Christians who don't know what a Christian family looks like. It seems like the men are not really the leaders that they need to be. But you were there, protected me and took care of me all the way to the walk down the wedding aisle. Thanks for being a man of truth. Thanks for the safe home life I grew up in. Thanks for being there. Thanks too for standing behind us and being tuned in with our lives here too. I love you, and miss you, and am so thankful for you.
Love, Lisl