Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I have only one thing to add to this...

I am sure many have seen this as a bumper sticker on many vehicles. Many that have seen it probably have no idea what it all means, so this little picture provides a handy little legend to help understand it all. 

My only thought... 
It ALL ends with the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 
and given him a name which is above every name: 
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Philippians 2:9-11

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our new camper!

We are looking to upgrade our camper. While it truly is a blessing, we are finding it very difficult to manage the living in it for weeks at a time. While we don't want to go overboard or get into debt, we realize that a dwelling for our family is perhaps one of the most important investments we will make. So in light of that, this is what we have decided to purchase. 

 I think you will agree it is perfect for our young family traveling on the road. While the children are still in school, we need the extra space to conduct classes while on the road. You can imagine how cramped we have been in our current camper. This will provide a much greater level of basic human comfort, and what more would we want? I mean really!
 You can agree, I am sure, that it is just sufficient for our needs. We are on the road 50-60% of our time. We really must make sure the children aren't crammed, stifled, or otherwise overly burdened by our current situation, for they may become bitter or be disillusioned as to this path we are on. After all, God has promised to provide for our needs, and this is just what we think He means.
 As you can see, the interior is much like many of the homes Americans live in. It is our basic privilege as Americans, therefore, to live like this as well, even while on the road.
This is our school room. While it may be a little narrow for many peoples standard, we will make due. I am sure the children will suffer only minimally in this, as we have a very good handle on what is really important. Being thankful for the little things in life. Don't you agree??


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Did You know ... ???

This is just a bit if info that often saves me moolah, buck-a roos, and mucho dinero.

Whenever I order anything online, I search for codes that will give me anything from free shipping to overall discounts on the entire order. You know at the end of the checkout process where it asks "discount code"  or "coupon offer"? Well they are out there in cyber space for anyone willing to take the three extra minutes to search for them!

Just today I ordered from CBD and got free shipping. ($8.00 savings - thank you very much!) 

A few months ago I needed to order a new laptop screen from a company I had never even heard of, and a quick search produced a 20% off coupon for them! That netted me almost $40!

So that is my tip for today. Take the few minutes and save a few bucks. Then support your favorite missionary with the savings!

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Come 'n Get It" ... a new (very sporadic) series

Aside from the fact that the glasses on this man in the commercial totally crack me up (... to think they must have been close to the acceptable if not the HeiGhT of fashion in the 80's is shocking to me!) this pretty much sums up the theme of this post... and likely many to follow.

In the spirit of purging (and staying true to the promise I made to myself years ago to never have a garage sale again!) I am making available on a first come first served basis the following items.

As a side, lest someone think they are helping and make the suggestion... I was debating craigslist ... but in light of recent events decided against it. Recently we listed our camper on there and my account was hijacked. Instead of selling a legitimate 2001 Flagstaff camper, I was selling a (likely stolen) 1997 Toyota Supra. I may have never know this switcheroo happened but fortunately the listing in Syracuse somehow got flagged and removed which Craigslist promptly notified me of, thinking I was the offending party. Which I wasn't. And do I really want strangers coming into my house to get an item that would likely only net me enough moolah to buy a wonderful Americano for me and a drink of choice for a fun-loving and dear friend at Cafe Macchiato? I think not.


These items have all failed the single question "keep it" test.

"Would I ship this to Africa?"   Yes = keep     No = purge

Also, the following items are available with two conditions.

1. You can "pray" for it.

Inevitably the item will once in a while cause you to think of me and/or my family. When that happens, would you pray for us? We are going to Africa, you know. That is far, far away, and potentially dangerous. AND there are wild animals there, too. Lots of reasons that we need prayer!

2. It is a first come first served basis.

You must come 'n get it (hence the lame title and youtube video). If you like me well enough, I will make you a drink of choice and we can sit for a while and have a visit. If I like you well enough, I may even offer lunch. =) (that was a joke - please... laugh!)

OK ... Ready?
 This is a fountain I got a long time ago, and loved it. But as it turns out, the calming sound of water bubbling over rocks makes me nuts. I never got rid of it because I love the look of it. And the idea of it. But I never use it. It would make a great planter but I have long ago also sworn off houseplants. We don't get along. End of story. Alas, it must go. 
These are wrought iron sconces... complete with dust. They are really nice and heavy- simple and elegant. They looked so pretty lit up flickering in the evening. (Sorry... the mirror is already taken. It is going to Pennsylvania!) There are two... you can see the other one at the far left of the picture. While these would likely take up little space to ship, it must first be decided if we are going to ship a container! When that questions is answered, then I will deal with decorating accessories!

So if you are interested, feel free to comment... but remember you gotta come 'n get it!

From "Pack-Rat" to "Pitch-Queen"...

It seems to be a transition made in decades... the "teen years"... the twenties  and thirties... when I get through the 40's I will have to make an update! 

When I was a teen I kept everything, and while it was not wholly a cluttered mess, it was pretty bad. I would stow away in my room at times for hours and sort through it all and make an organized display of the mess, but it was all there. 

I could relate to the well known show "Sanford and Son"... the crazy junque collector and his child.  (I know "junk" is spelled wrong... I like it better that way... and this is my blog. If it bothers you too much, feel free to start your own blog and write it any way you like :) I promise to read your blog!)


I would keep anything and everything, and especially liked to collect small and worthless things that kept some memory of some event alive in my head. I have a terrible memory for the details of things, which may explain that tendency in my life. It would also explain the 18 journals that I had started in hopes of becoming one of those grammas that kept a log of every event in her life and one day they would all be found (long after my death, of course) and people would regale the wonderful and legacy-leaving life I had lived. Sadly each journal had one or two pages written on. Then months would pass and I would just get another one. If my descendants like to dig up old archived html entries this blog might be a possibility, however I highly doubt there will be many changed and impacted lives as a result. Oh well :)

On to the twenties, and the era of Young Children.

Especially in America, that inherently implies the accumulation of stuff- compounded with each child- and I was no exception. Add to that being a home schooling family, and for me it was hopeless. While I became better at keeping it moderately categorized and contained into collections, I had it all. The school books by grade, sports equipment, winter clothes, summer clothes, craft corner, toys, fabric section and scrapbook supplies... shall I continue with the list?? Clothing for every child in every size to be passed down to the next child and added to by the friend or relative with a child just enough larger to benefit you and the ever groaning growing collection of toters and banana boxes labeled with M or F and the appropriate size. Even writing the sentence is exhausting... imagine living it for ten years! Truly if clothing was disposable (at the least if socks were!) I may have been the mother of more children. I could only handle so much!

Needless to say the accumulation was intense.

In my thirties, we began to move. Alot.

That was definitely a catalyst for my changing attitude towards my stuff. Instead of a comfortable or pretty adornment to my fast paced and busy life, it became another thing to manage, clean, move or repair. Packing and unpacking some pretty chachka brought me much less pleasure than keeping it did, so out it went.

Pitched. Chucked. Tossed.

Surprisingly, with it went a lot of mental clutter too. True, some of them reminded me of pleasant things or places I had gone, but the memories aren't gone, just the constant reminder of them! It is good to think on things in the past, but it truly seemed like every time I looked at something, my mind raced to that event and disrupted the thought I was currently on. It made for (mentally and physically) very cluttered days. Kind of like a self induced and cyclical A.D.D.!!
I am in my forties now, and have very little attachment to "things". I have been told that I am careless, unsentimental, and insensitive. So be it. But I also know that if this wasn't my attitude to the core of my being, I would have a very hard time following the Lord on the current path we are walking.  Just this past year our family lived in a camper for over 90 days. Let me tell you we did not bring a whole lot of stuff with us, and we did just fine. (we all need a bit of therapy but that is another post...!) (that was a joke!)  When we do come home, I have this urgency to throw it all away.

It feels so cluttered, full, weighty, burdensome.

I am finishing through the New Testament and my reading brought me to the end of Hebrews into James today. Couldn't help but feel the Lord confirming this in His word.

Hebrews 12:1-2  "... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with the patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; ..."

For me this is both physical and spiritual. I need to physically purge out those things that will keep me planted in this world. Spiritually, I need to make the things of God priority.

Today, I am doing them both in one fell swoop. I am throwing out a bunch of junque!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11/10 ...

It is 2:25 pm and I am sitting in my kitchen still in pajamas and a house coat. Physically whooped and emotionally a little on edge, I just can't seem to muster the gumption yet! I do have a hair appointment at 4:00 ... and then a date night with girlfriends for coffee after, so I know I will get to it!

Some of the reasons for my funk...?

Well maybe because...

There are several weighty and life changing decisions to be made, but not quite yet.

We have deputation meetings on the books, but we don't have to leave quite yet.

I have reports to get done, but not due quite yet.

There is "weeding out" of accumulated junque that needs to be done, but I don't have to... not quite yet

Later... not now... uncertainties... and I don't know. These seem to be the words that surround me about now. So NoT my comfort zone to be sure, but this has come to pass.

It just better do it quick!


Saturday, November 6, 2010


I am finding out that of a surety I have no photographic skills whatsoever. And while there are amazing people in EVERY church we visit, I get so caught up in meeting them and getting to know them all, it is not until we are leaving the town that I begin to beat myself up for not capturing any of them in photos! If you are from a church we have previously visited... send me your picture and I will BE SURE to put you in my journal! (ps... this blog is my journal so if you are opposed to that, then let me know and I will just archive you in my computer)

So needless to say I never got the pictures of the auditorium from Twin City Baptist Temple... nor did I get pictures of at least 30 other people that made our time there amazing, but in an effort to preserve what I did take (In lame fashion with my cell phone...) I am posting them here!

I really need a traveling photographer to come with us... Orange Girl you are my likely candidate! Lol :)

We thoroughly fell in love with the entire fellowship here, and the other missionaries were amazing to get to know as well. Rebecca and Jen will forever be kindred spirits, and I pray we will se each other again this side of glory... perhaps many times would be great!

Pastor Erven and Susan Burke are wonderful people with a gift of perseverance and the joy of the Lord. We had some great fellowship with them and the church, as well as with the students in the Christian school.

Dan and Pastor here, at the end of the international pot luck dinner, the final night of the conference. YUM!!

Here we are with the Burkes and the Burkes! Nathan and Erika were great fun to chat with. He runs the church's radio station, and we would so love to get back there to pick his brain! And Erika, I ran into her in the mall, so definitely a kindred spirit! ;)

The funny thing about the picture is Mrs. Burke took this one... It was late after the end of the dinner, and we were scrambling to get some pictures takes. But... I wanted her in the picture! 

I took this one of her.... 

Add a little photoshop magic and Voila! Here you go! I had to mess around with the color a little to get it to look less "pasted" in, and lost a little of details but all in all it looks pretty good to me! 
 Here is Sandra and me. Love this girl! We have adopted her to be part of our family, and will have a spare room in our home in Chipata for her. She is going to help me decorate my whole house there. We will amaze people at what we will do with chitanges and grass and Mukwa accessories! Our family was able to spend an after noon at her home, and the guys raked out a "few" leaves for her. We felt so bad because that night there was another cold snap, and the remaining leaves from the tree were  completely covering the ground again! Thankfully one of the guys left a hat there, and Dan and Si were able to get a bunch of them up before we had to leave.
Here I am with Sandra and Susan. Love these Ladies! 
Another kindred spirit is Linda. Such a beautiful woman with a gorgeous smile- it is contagious! I love seeing my list of friends on FB growing as we travel! It is wonderful to be able to stay connected :)
Here are the guys with Ryan, the youth pastor. We adopted him too, but we are down on the list for him. I think I made mother #15 for him- poor guy! The church has a great youth room, and Ryan played ping pong very well, so they had a few games going throughout the week. The Lord surely has a way of blessing us.

The only downer is saying good bye. We look forward to any time our travels bring us to this church again!