Friday, January 30, 2009

My Husband Rocks - Friday (MHR)

Oops...forgot to post this, but better late than never. =)

Theme:
What was the moment or the circumstances that led to you knowing that you were going to marry the man who became your husband . . .

This post is an easy one for me since that moment is so indelibly etched in my mind. As many of you know, my husband was chosen for me by my dad after they met on an airplane. Yes, you read that right...my dad came home from a trip and announced to the whole family that he had met my future husband, handed me his address, and told me to start writing him. (he wasn't joking) So, I did...I started to write this man who was a single soldier serving our country in South Korea. A year later we met in person...there weren't huge fireworks, but I could tell there may be something there. We continued to write LONG, frequent letters to each other sharing our dreams, visions, and hopes for the future. I grew in my respect for this man and was amazed at how similar our life goals were.

My dad and I planned a trip to Thailand to visit some of the orphanages that I had worked at previously and were able to get a layover in Korea to spend some time with the Major. He was going to join us in Thailand as well. I was so nervous meeting the Major for the second time...my heart was pounding getting off that plane. I knew this man...but I didn't really know him. I knew his heart and it made me want to follow him anywhere, but would the man himself be that way...and would he even be attracted to ME?! Those first few days were so awkward, but soon we were talking to each other the same way our letters had talked and according to my dad, we never drew breathe.

The moment I "knew" though, was a magical night...our last night in Korea...on top of the Namsan Tower overlooking all of Seoul. The whole city was sparkling and the mountain was covered in a frosty snow that made it sparkle as well. As we talked and looked out over the city huge snowflakes started to fall...it was like a scene out of a movie. I can't remember what we were talking about, but something the Major said touched me deeply and I started to cry. As I turned away to wipe my eyes in embarrassment, he pulled me in close to his chest and held me tightly without saying a word. I will never forget that moment...I felt so at home and protected. The whole world could have come against me at that moment and I would have been safe and at peace. I knew then, that this was the man I was supposed to follow for the rest of my life.

To this day, whenever the Major holds me close there is something in my soul that sighs with contentment, "I'm home."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adoption Update

I know I am terribly overdue for this, but life happens. =) We are still working on an adoption from Uganda although the landscape continues to morph as we travel this road. Our journey will be a little different than most international adoptions, so I ask for everyone's patience as we experience this adventure God has called us on.

The first change you should be aware of is that we have switched agencies. Not long after finishing our international homestudy, the agency we were working with alerted us to the fact that due to some issues in-country, they were shutting down their Uganda program. We were disappointed, but not discouraged. We knew God had other plans. We were put in touch with another group that works out of this area and instantly fell in love with the couple who are overseeing it. They are true kindred spirits and our 1 hour meeting with them turned into 4 hours of blessed fellowship. We are not only impressed with their walks, but also their activities within the country and total dedication to working above board in all they do.

This brings us to our next change...as per our agreement with this new agency, I won't be able to blog much about the process. I will give you general updates as I can, but all details will need to be held until we return to the States with our children. I will keep blogging as things progress, but will not post them until we're united as a family.

Some other general updates:
  • We have finished our international homestudy and are just waiting for USCIS approval for the children's visas.
  • We have not been matched yet, but are hoping to hear something soon!
  • Our time in Uganda will be longer than originally planned. I'll be there closer to 5 weeks as opposed to 3. I'm truly excited about this! I look forward to getting to know where my kids are from and the traditions their culture has...as well as the food. I can't wait to interact with them in their known environment before bringing them to the States. It should be a wonderfully educating experience!
  • It is looking like we will be bringing home 2 children instead of 3. We are not closing the door on this yet, but just waiting with open hands for the Lord's will.

So, that's about all I have to update right now. Feel free to ask questions...I will answer them openly if I can, and if not, you will receive an answer privately. We truly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts everyone has sent our way. We feel very supported through this process and know that God is working.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"My Husband Rocks!" - Friday

This week I bumped across a running project on another friend's blog. She was part of a growing number of bloggers who are participating in "My Husband Rocks!" Fridays. Every Thursday, Katy Lin from http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/ posts a theme or two for us to write about on Friday. As a woman who has a husband who truly rocks, I thought this would be a great way to remind myself each week of exactly why I love him.

So, without further ado, here is this weeks MHR post:

The Theme:
Tell us about a time that your spouse went out of his way to serve you, and love you sacrificially.

Honestly, this has been a really hard post to write. The Major lives this everyday in so many ways it's hard to pin-point one. I could talk about the way he sacrifices his sleep to stay up late and watch a movie with me or let's me sleep while he tends to Boo if she wakes in the night. I could also mention how just this week when Boo was so sick, he ran out several times to the store to get medicine or special food items for her.

I think my favorite memory that stands out most in my mind happened when we were living and working Korea. We were actually in China on a missions trip to check on projects and encourage some of our fellow laborers there. We were near the end of a long trip and had gotten delayed flying into Beijing, our last stop. We were picked up by a local worker and taken to the office/apartment we were going to be staying in for our last few days there. I was so exhausted I could barely see and was looking forward to crawling into bed. There would be no sleep for the weary this night.

The whole room was filled with dust. The bed and pillows were moldy smelling and I ended up spending the next 2 hours coughing and needing to use my asthma inhaler while the Major was sleeping peacefully. After dissolving in tears, I woke the Major up and told him what was happening. His response was so precious. Without hesitation he got up, got dressed, and packed up our things to head out and try to find a hotel. The crazy thing was that it was now 3am...we have no way to contact the local workers, we don't know any hotels in the area...we didn't even really know where in the city we were, and we don't know the language. That doesn't stop my dear husband though. Out we went to wander the streets of Beijing.

There happened to be a few cabbies just outside the apartment complex and the Major bravely approached them with his Chinese/English dictionary and pointed to the word for hotel. Well, at least we thought it was the right word...there were two possibilities. We realized we had picked the wrong "hotel" word when the guys started looking me over and giggling. The Major quickly righted the situation and got the message across of where we wanted to go. In faith, we hopped in a taxi and started our trip down dark streets hoping we'd come out of this alive. We soon saw the most beautiful site...English letters spelling out HOLIDAY INN. I wanted to cry in joy. When we got in there, they were booked, but quickly found us a room in another nearby hotel. By 5am, we were finally crawling into a dust & mold free room.

The Major only got 2 hrs of sleep that night because he had to be at a meeting at 7am that morning. He came back to the hotel rejoicing that I had been able to sleep and took me out sightseeing later. It was truly a night to remember and one where my husband put my needs completely ahead of his own. He has continued to serve me this way throughout our marriage and I am so thankful to be his wife.

The Mission:
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, has two parts. First, look for ways that you can serve your husband. These can be big or small, sometimes the things that seem so insignificant to us can make a big difference in making our husbands feel loved and respected. And second, if your husband asks you to do something for him, even if it seems silly, or like he could easily do it for himself, do it cheerfully and without an attitude of annoyance.

OK...so, I'm going to have to think of some new ways to serve him this week. I have some ideas, but I won't share them yet since he reads this blog.

As far as the second mission goes...I'm pretty good at that, but I think I need to work on my heart attitudes more. I usually will cheerfully do something when he asks, but sometimes I find myself inwardly feeling put upon or aggravated that he asked. This week will be "heart-focused" on rejoicing in the ability to do things for the Major and the fact that he is around to ask me to do things.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Joy of Simple Things

While the Major was gone this past week, I was able to focus more attention on Private Boo. We had a wonderful week together connecting on a deeper level as mommy & daughter. As I spent more time with my little girl, I was reminded once again of the joy of simple things.

In our age of technological advances, children (and adults) have more gadgets to play with than ever before. More toys that sing, dance, light up, etc. It's truly amazing what the human brain has created. And yet, with all these new inventions I realized as I watched Boo play, that she took the most joy and had the most fun with simple every day things.
Whether it was trying on Mommy's shoes...

...Or wearing a sock on her head like a hat...
...Or swinging outside on a warm, sunny day...
...Or helping Mommy clean the house...
...Or just wearing a pair of her favorite pajamas...

...Boo seemed to take the most pleasure out of everday life and turn small everyday moments into times of joy and adventure. She challenged me to do the same and I found myself becoming more content than ever with my life, my home, and the everyday tasks that I accomplish as Mommy.

Seeing life through my child's eyes had brought more joy into my life and thankfulness for what God has blessed me with on this earth. I am determined to continue this pattern as we start this next semester and year. I want to make sure that I am enjoying everything to the fullest and truly living out our family motto of: CARPE DIEM! (Seize the day)

I hope you also take time to see your life through a child's eyes. You'll be amazed at the joy you'll find lurking in moments you often just ignore.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Fruit & Flowers Anniversary

Time is such a funny thing. For some moments it seems to move so quickly we can hardly keep up. For others, it seems to take forever. And then there are those moments and years, that aren't that long ago, but so much has happened in between that it seems ages ago. The later is how I am feeling today as I ponder our fourth anniversary.

Four years ago today I said "I do" to one of the most wonderful men I know. It really wasn't that long ago. I feel like I must have miscounted the years...surely we've been married longer than that...at least that's how it feels. We have packed more into these last four years than some people get to experience over their whole lifetime. And the crazy thing is we don't seem to be slowing down our pace either.

I knew my life would be filled with adventure and challenges when I married the Major. I had no idea it would be as hard, as beautiful, and as stretching as it has been. There were moments when I wondered what I was thinking and if I had made the wrong decision. There were also moments when I wondered if our love and bond could possibly be any closer or tighter. We are only four years into our marriage and I can already attest to the fact that your love for each other does change and become sweeter, deeper, and more amazing each year. But it doesn't get that way without the refining fire of life.

As I'm celebrating this anniversary separated from the Major, I've been thinking alot about another aspect of our marriage...and that is how incredibly "Christ-like" my husband is. We have faced so many challenges that at times nearly crushed my faith or pushed me to the edge and as I look back, I see the Major there holding me, encouraging me, and loving me UNCONDITIONALLY through it all. He has shown me so many times what Jesus' love for us looks like and it can be really overwhelming. I am so unworthy of this earthly man's love and yet he showers me with it liberally...how much less deserving am I of God's love and yet He pours His blessings on my life daily.

I miss the Major...I look forward to his homecoming and being able to greet him when he walks in the door from school or work. I can't wait to get back to having devotions together and worshipping at church as a family. I look forward to the many years we have ahead of us and watching our relationship deepen. I look forward to raising our children together and seeing who God brings into our family. I look forward to the adventures of living this "nomadic" life that God has called the Major to live and seeing where that leads us. I look forward to just resting in the arms of my beloved.

So...Happy 4th Anniversary, My Hero! You are the sparkle in my eyes and I'm always home as long as I'm with you!

I receive you, (Major), from our Lord to be my husband and covering; and will acknowledge you always as the head of our family, even as Christ is the Head of the Church.
Before God and these witnesses, I covenant this day to love you unconditionally and sacrificially by following the example of Jesus who laid down His life for us. I give myself completely to you; and will strive to walk in faithfulness, purity, and obedience to your leading as you follow the Lord and His Spirit. I will continually seek to do you good and not evil, so that your heart can rest in me all the days of your life.
I will endeavor to provide a haven of rest and peace for you in our home. If God should bless us with children, I will help you to raise and train them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I will teach them by word and example to love and honor you as the king and priest of our family.
(Major), I love you…
For better or for worse,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish as long as we both shall live.
With our eyes fixed on the Cross of Jesus Christ and under the banner of His love, I joyfully submit myself to you to be your wife until death separates us for a time or Christ returns in glory.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Taking Baby Steps

I know I left you all with a rather frustrating post. Soon after writing that post, we jumped into the holiday mayhem and have only just this weekend returned to some sense of normalcy. I have several new posts and thoughts to share with you, but I wanted to start off the year with a smile.

My first post of 2009 will be of my sweet daughter who chose to take her first steps last night. We were delighted and amazed as she finally trusted herself to be able to walk. As I watched her joy and happiness with each step and then finally fall into the arms of her dad...I thought of our own personal walks with the Lord. What joy it must bring God when we finally "walk" in our faith. When we take those first baby steps in trusting His will for our lives. And then, the joy in our own hearts as we realize that we are walking in His presence and falling into His arms in pure joy at the feeling of freedom it brings us.

May each of you start this year walking in His presence and will. Even if all you can do are baby steps now...you will be running by the end of the year straight into the arms of loving Father.

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