We just returned last night from a week long spring break trip to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Going into the trip we were really seeking retreat, refreshment and renewal for our bodies and souls. It is hard to relax with a one and two year old, especially while traveling in a foreign country. We stayed at a quaint Seaside Lodge that truly made rest possible. We had a three mile stretch of beach virtually to ourselves and a lovely staff cooking all of our meals (Annette loved all the Malaysian dishes from curry to squid) and taking great care of us. For four days I wore no makeup, no shoes, and totted little more than sunscreen and a book. Each day Jason and I made it a priority to have time alone with the Lord. After the kids went to sleep in the evening, we sat on the porch and talked as the ocean waves pounded the sand below. It was beautiful.
The rustic Seaside Lodge
Sunset our first night
We took a jungle river boat ride to see the Proboscis Monkeys playing in their natural habitat
The Island you see in the far right is where they filmed the first season of Survivor
Some girls at school in the nearby village
Jason built a huge sand mountain that the kids spent hours climbing up and jumping off. Just what these city kids need!
The second half of our time was spent at a hotel where Jason attended the EARCOS Teachers Conference. The kids and I played at the beach and pool (dodging some thunder storms) while Jason attended the sessions. On our last night we were watching an amazing sunset over the beach. I turned around and saw a full rainbow behind us at the same time!! I had never seen anything like it. I think God does things like this just for fun to show us his glory.
And that my friends is the most photos I think I've ever included in one post. Just in case you didn't get enough you can look at our photos from KK two years ago here. Josiah was just a little younger than Annette is now and started walking while in Malaysia. We thought Annette might do the same, she is really close!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Wow- February flew by! This month's video is pretty ordinary, lots of moments around home. Normal stuff. Annette is showing off her clapping which she loves to do these days and you can see Josiah playing cars on the hospital floor. Can't believe only 5 more days til my baby is one (sniff, sniff).
This song is Invade by Watermark
This song is Invade by Watermark
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
This blog is going to be devoted to me sharing the many ups and downs in my head and heart lately. (Deep breath) Here we go. . . Many of you know that Jason and I are preparing for a sabbatical leave next year. We feel like we have been talking about this year forever and now it is really around the corner. I'd like to say our ducks are in a row, but they're not. Our outlook is coming more into focus but is still fuzzy at best. I don't do well with fuzzy. I like details, minor and not so minor detailsl like;
What country(s) will we be in? What vaccines do we need? What is the nearest country with a decent hospital? What do I do if my child gets malaria? What food will we have access to? What do I need to pack? What are we going to do with all our stuff and flat in Hong Kong? How much will this all cost? How can God use me while caring for a 1 and 3 year old? The list goes on and on.
There is one ministry in South Africa that we are looking to partner with. Last week we had a skype session with one of their representatives, Lauren, to see if we would be a good fit with them. Lauren told us about the child headed house-holds they support. Let me say that again child- headed households!! There are so many orphaned children that the extended family is unable to adsorb them, so they raise themselves. 8, 9, 10, 11 year olds heading up a household! AIDS has left 15 million orphans in Sub- Saharan Africa. I can't even understand numbers like that.
I find myself dramatically swinging back and forth between worrying about every-little-detail to brimming over with faith that we don't need a plan B because God will take care of us. Some moments I want nothing more than to hug the children, pray for the sick and understand their world of poverty. Other moments I yearn to escape to a comfortable American suburb to live in Gymboree, Old Navy and a safe church that asks nothing of me.
One thing I am coming to see is that I cannot live a life committed to radically fulfilling God's call and guarantee the health, safety and comfort of my kids. I've been kind of avoiding God lately, afraid that if I listen to His voice he will ask me to do something that I think is too hard. Last week I broke down and God spoke to me, reminding me of his deep love for me. He wants to be the ultimate source of my peace, joy, and purpose and I guess that is a pretty safe place after all. God cannot be shaken. Now if I can work that message from my head to my heart and just keep it there.
I LOVE this song and it has been my peace and comfort this last month