Monthly Archives: June 2008

Painting pictures of Egypt

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You all must get tired of me quoting songs….. but God speaks to my heart so much through the music of His faithful! So… in the midst of this journey of committing myself to this process God is doing in me I discovered this song.

What is my Egypt? I think for me it is America, home. Or at least the memory of what used to be home. I find myself thinking about “home” a lot. Where is my home? Now that I am “home” here is the US I feel more homeless! And I miss the familiarity and simplicity of life in that place I now call home: Albania. My friend Bex, serving in North Africa says it well:

I spend everyday – even in the US – torn between loving where I am and missing what I have left. I am reassured to remember that there is One who holds every day of my life in His hands – whether that be here or there I can always rest in His faithfulness and love.

And it is true that you can never go back to the place you were. And when I paint pictures of those places I leave out all the things that were a struggle for me there. And the places that used to fit me can not hold the things I’ve learned. I have to find new places. For now that is the place where I am.

Lord, let me release the past and the future to YOU and be present in the place you have me now.

What is your Egypt?

Things I forgot about America

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Well, we have arrived.  After 27 hours including a 3 hour delay and 1 mom breakdown, our sweet family arrived in Denver.  I will confess that I sort of fell into my dad’s arms and cried (more on that “mom breakdown” later).   

So now we have all had a little time to refresh and are enjoying our time with family.  As we have been doing some catching up on what has been happening while we have been away, I have been compiling a list of things I forgot while we have been living in Albania. 

I forgot:

1.  How CLEAN everything is ( and I am talking PRISTINE) !

2.  How rude people can be. I know this is true everywhere but I must not notice it as much in Albania since I don’t understand the language well. 

3.  How many different types of people there are.  It was a relief to not be an odd ball. 

4. That you do not have to honk your horn to say “Stay out of my way!” as a car approaches on the side street.  They ARE going to obey the street signs. 

5.  You can put your toilet paper in the toilet. Ahhh….

6.  Everyone speaks English and I can understand all the side conversations going on around me. This can be good and bad. 

7.  There are lots of RESTAURANT and FOOD choices. Yum!

8.  You have to drive practically everywhere.  Always being in a car seat or booster seat is an adjustment for the kids.

9.  The trip to the store for milk takes more than 2 minutes.  I think I drove around for 10 just trying to remember where the closest grocery store was!

10.  Adoption is a well known concept and if I say Jadyn is my daughter I won’t have to answer 10 questions about why and how she is my daughter. 

Leaving on a jet plane

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By the time you read this we will be on one of three flights to the States, final destination: Colorado Springs. Our parents are excited about meeting us at the airport to gather our tired family after 22 hours of travel! We are so excited for some time home for rest, rejuvination, reconnection, and FOOD! 🙂 Read more about our time at home (also called HMA or Home Ministry Assignment) in the next couple of days at journeytoalbania.com. We have a busy schedule of visiting supporters, friends and family. Exciting times! Stay tuned!

Jesus at the Farmaci

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Yesterday I went to the pharmacy (farmaci) close to the my house (about 200 yards from my door). The woman there, a pharmacy technician, has helped me frequently when we have needed something. I was stocking up on propanolol which I take to prevent migraines. Her name is Meli. Also there sitting at a little table in the corner and having coffee with Meli was another older woman from our neighborhood (75 years old, she told me) named Eva. We greeted each other in the Albanian way, grasping hands and kissing cheeks while asking each other, “How are you, how is your family, how are the children, how is your daughter, what have you been doing, how are things going?” (At least 4-5 questions would make you truly Albanian!) After discovering that they did not have what I needed, but would be delivered the next day, the questions began. People in our neighborhood are becoming more bold in their questions of us. As our Albanian approves so has our comfort level in greeting others and being generally more friendly. We can speak more so that helps a lot! This has opened the door for people to ask us about ourselves and us to answer. (Hip, Hip, Hooray!)

They asked several questions about Jadyn and how we came to adopt her. As we meet more and more people this seems to be a catalyst for talking about Jesus in some way. Today we came upon expressions in Albanian.

DISCLAIMER: Remember that everything that follows is filtered through my American eyes and my lack of language. I still DO NOT understand everything that is said to me, so I am always working on understanding the big idea.

Eva said to me that I was or I am or I have (take your pick) “top sheqer” a sugar head. This is an Albanian phrase they use for children who have a sweet spirit. She told me that I have a face that reflects who I am on the inside (by the grace of God). She went on to tell me that she has a brother who in fact has a bad spirit about him. He is unkind, mean spirited and generally a bad person. What an opportunity! I quickly was able to respond that I am a believer in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we believe that we all are “bad”, in fact even I am “bad” (remember, I am talking like a 4 year old). But because I have Jesus in my heart, His spirit lives in me. He changes my heart. All good things in me are from Him.

I don’t know how much I was understood …. but praise the Lord for the opportunity to speak His name and plant seeds. Pray that there will be WATER!

Fly breath

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This morning Austin climbed into bed with me at about 6:30. This was good because we needed to be out the door a little earlier for their dentist appointments at 8:00.

I love this sweet cuddle time with my son. He is a talker and can tell long tales about all kinds of things. Today the conversation was about the day and what was his visit with the dentist would be like. After a few minutes he was quiet.

“Mom?”

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Your breath stinks. (Pause)….. It smells like flies.”

I mean really, what do you say to that?!!!? I laughed.

Still laughing, I ask “How do you know what flies smell like?”

He sat up, looked me straight in the eye and held his fingers close to his nose. “I have smelled a fly before!”

Well, there you have it. Fly breath.

Blog Love

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Today I am FINALLY updating the blogroll… (this one is for you, Adam). I have lots of blog friends out there. Some whom I know personally and others only through cyberspace. I learn and am stretched by their thoughts, insights and experiences. So… I have updated the blog list so you can add them to yours. I made a special category/list for our friends who have adopted from China. 🙂 So check out the blogs… you are sure to find something inspirational and fun to read!

Summer classes for men

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Robert and I had some fun laughs about this tonight. His comments… “I feel strangely validated knowing I am not alone.”

I have highlighted in RED the ones for which he needs to enroll immediately.

Summer Classes for Men


@ the
ADULT LEARNING CENTER


NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL
OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM

Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays–Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll–Does It Change Itself?

Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The FloorPictures and Explanatory Graphics.

Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 4
Dinner Dishes–Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
at 7:00 PM

Class 5
Loss Of Identity–Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 6
Learning How To Find Things–Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 7
Health Watch–Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 8
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost–Real Life Testimonials.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined

Class 9
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.

4 weeks, Saturday’s noon, 2 hours.

Class 10
Learning to Live–Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing

Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 11
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises and Breathing Techniques.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 12
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy–Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You’re Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 13
The Stove/Oven–What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.