Thursday, April 25, 2013

A little time away at the hot springs


These three wonderful people gave B and I a night away last week. Whenever we get time away, we always say we're just going to take a 7 hour nap. But we also want to do things that are only fun on paper when you are bringing 5 kids along.

Our city is famous for its hot springs. It never claimed to be famous for its clean hot springs. The frogs swimming around in this hot spring were not a part of the massage techniques, but rather a part of 

There were several pools with various additives such as wine, milk, and tea. You sat in almost boiling water (we're talking 113 degrees F). Most of them were too hot for us, but were a few that we could manage to sit in and still feel our feet. 

The smoking, half-toothless manager brought us around the corner to the fish massage place. B had never done this before, so I was excited to see his reaction. 

And well, here was his reaction. These fish eat off the dead skin on your body. It's a complete mind over matter thing because it just feels like bubbles, but is in fact tiny fish feeding off your flesh. We stayed there for a long time and tried not to think about the fish excrement that was entering our ears. 

Another pool area was filled with different types of jets. The one I'm in here was a chair lined with small jets. I wanted to bring this home. 

We ate cream puffs. 

Took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Walked.

Ate hot pot. 

When you've got 5 kids, getting away like this is virtually impossible. Our sweet friends swung a little homeschool, multiple meals, devo and prayer time in the morning, and still managed to remain our friends.  Awesome.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Reflecting on a Living Hope

**The eery part of this post is that I wrote it about two weeks ago and set it to post today...the same day that the Boston Marathon bombers were brought to justice. 

What does it mean to be born again to a living hope?

What is a living hope?

A hope that isn’t confined to death and discouragement. 
A hope that is not victim to evil usurpation.   
Immovable and defined by the only one who has the power to define a promise like that. God. If God grants that hope is living, He has to be able to cash that in when we despair. We have to sit back and trust that when he says “Living Hope,” he means it and will do whatever is needed to assure that his hope does not fade.

Our inheritance is also alive. 

Alive in the sense that there will be no corruption or perishing when we obtain it in heaven. However heaven looks, we can be assured that God will command all things to life. 

Death will have no inroad. 
Despair will not be considered. 
Defilement will find no place. 

Life will rule the day. 
Life will define all our relationships. 
Life will be defined by goodness. 

Words spoken will be put together with letters of hope and joy. Pauses in our days will be filled with a silent worship, not devising schemes of revenge. Anger will be held at bay. Racisim will never occur to the minds of a people who are surrendered to a living hope. These bouts of corruption are out of place in a kingdom that God creates. A infalliable place where both joy and worship work symmetrically together to give us a peaceful place to exist for all of eternity. If nothing else, this should give us hope. 

It should make us stop when we are anxious about work and find gladness in our future grace. This type of promise should allow us to breathe deeply when we find ourselves broken and depleted of all goodness.

Life here doesn’t make sense. On many levels. We end our day with more questions than answers. With feeling more discouraged than alive.

But there will come a day. A day that we will be able to express a joy in God that we can’t seem to grasp here on this earth and for this time.

But there will come a day.  A day when no orphan will wander around looking for arms to curl up into.

But there will come a day. A day when we can look around at our brothers and sisters around the world and not reject others on account of cultural differences, but rejoice in the creative design of our Father. 

It's in these things that we can get up each morning and proclaim that God is good. Not because of our desire to escape this world, but because we understand that hope is obtainable. Goodness is an option. 
God has prepared a place. 

**It is this very hope that will bring us to pray for not only the victim's families, but the bombers' families too. Hope is not reserved for those whom WE deem fit. That's the Lord's job.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My girl on guitar

I have been teaching my baby girl how to play guitar for the last 6 months. It involves a lot of you tube videos and use of the words, "I don't know." We have had a blast. Last week, for the first time, she lead out on the musical part of worship. It was one of the the most satisfying things I've seen and heard in 2013. To watch her give back to the Lord and surrender herself to the task of playing guitar in front of people was simply beautiful. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Adjective, Hide yo' Wife...



Adjective, hide yo' wife, hide yo' husbands."

This is a verbatim quote from my 5-year old son last week as we studied grammar. If you have been stuck on some remote island near Guam and haven't seen this video, here it is.

Help me now.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Us Lately.

I'm working on margin. I've said 'yes' to others while saying, "Um, no time for that," to my kids and husband. Hence the lack of updatey type of blogs. So I'm cramming several months into one post. It's all about pacifying blog guilt. 

We will start in Jan. with the birthday of my second oldest. Every good celebration involves silly string. And velveeta cheese. Living where we do, silly string is in abundance because it's sprayed on brides as they get out of the car. Velveeta is not. Moment of silence.

We also celebrated my #3. These two little people pretty much rock my world. Malachi is introspective, thoughtful, a thinker, has a strong sense of justice, and loves playing with little kids. Charis is silly, gentle, free-spirited, compassionate and always roots for the underdog. 

 She requested homemade donuts for her birthday meal. I'm not a big donut fan, but I wanted to name my next kid after this recipe. And yes, that's after the realization that I'd have a kid named "Chocolate Donut." They were that good.


A friend who lived in our city for 6 months sent us an awesome package. Because he had lived here before, he totally understood our need for good coffee and chocolate that didn't taste like a crayon. 

I had hair issues. I had to travel to Hong Kong in order to pick up my daughter's ADHD meds. In China, they will give you 7 days of ADHD meds at a time. After that, it's back to the hospital to get re-evaluated. Because you might have heard of my love for Chinese hospitals, this is a non-option. While there, I forwent the hair cut and decided on a body wave instead. They are cheap and allow me to do something with my hair other than put it in a clip. Everyday.

I was waiting for friends to join us for an Easter egg hunt. I decided to try those non-smiling pictures. Others seem to take these types of pictures and look wise, pensive, thoughtful, contemplative. I look like I'm trying to keep bodily functions from escaping in public.

This family that we did our vacation time with joined us for a few days. It is beyond humorous to walk in public with them in China. People assume we're an international school on a field trip. 

We got to hang with some wonderful college students and do a little Easter discussion. It was super fun. 

Anyway, there's the debrief of our last few months. I've got some great link-ups that I'm wanting to share. I'll get to that in the next week or so...hopefully.

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