Saturday, October 2, 2010
Thanks to the very warm (record breaking) September, I finally get to see my Helianthus sunflower in full bloom!
We are leaving today for Addis Ababa, where we will have our court hearing on October 6. But more importantly, we will meet our two children. And this is what we have been living for.
God bless us on our journey to Ethiopia...
Friday, August 13, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010 - getting ready for Spa Weekend with Christa. Showered, curling my hair, trying to get my team on the phone (on my day off) due to a misdirected FedEx. Phone rings - it is from 781 area code. Erin is calling; I was just thinking of calling her to let her know I will have spotty cell phone coverage until Tuesday.
Wait! Erin is calling!
I can barely unlock my Droid to answer. I hear her voice on the other end of the line, and yes, this is the call we have been waiting for. Two cherubs, matched to us! Praises!
We try to add Dennis to the line unsuccessfully - no worries - I will take notes and review it all with him again ASAP. Everything about the morning that seemed important is suddenly wholly unimportant.
One boy, one girl. He's 3 (we later learn closer to 4) and she's 2. Pictures of their beautiful little faces, sad and scared. My eyes tear up. My heart swells. I close my eyes and picture their eyes brighter and faces smiling. I get goosebumps. Thoughts of "where do I sign?" tempered by remembering that we need to have the medical review done, and pray. But because all of the paperwork looked great, I knew right away. I trust God's plan of moving them in our direction after the tragic events of their lives.
And so we begin the life-giving tasks that bring them closer to us: creating photo albums to send to Ethiopia, getting vaccines, applying for visas, re-documenting our financial ability, rearranging the house, continuing to pray, etc.
We are so blessed.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
An outstretched hand - to give or receive.
I actually wrote this post two years ago, and only now realized I never posted it...
Some Saturdays ago we attended worship and the gospel reading was Mark 1:29-39. This is the story of Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever, then healing all of the sick townspeople, and then moving on; it was early in his ministry. Pastor Chad’s sermon was (and I do PC a disservice here by oversimplifying), in part, about reaching out to others and healing them. Or raising them up. However you want to interpret it. In the evening Dennis and I attended Iris Dement’s Denver concert at the Soiled Dove Underground. It was, by the way, fabulous. But I bring this up because she sang a song from her Lifeline album, “He Reached Down.” What, twice in one day? This is the kind of personal message from my divine that I cannot ignore.
So, in combination with that weekend’s focus on reaching out to and investing in others, I must consider to whom I am reaching out and what, if any, impact I am having. I confess I feel deflated in this regard. In the various puzzles of my every-day life, the pieces seem to be scattered outside the border, waiting to find their locked-in place. I thought I was reaching out and investing, but still life feels scattered. How do I start putting the pieces in their place?
I don’t have an answer yet. To find this answer I try to be mindful through transition. I am truly blessed that others are investing in me, and while this may not always solve every problem, it does bring some degree of hope. Clarity should follow.
My wish for you is that all is well in your life.
To whom are YOU reaching out?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
On the verge of May --
And O my heart, the woods were dusk
At the close of day.
Half a word was spoken
Out of half a dream,
And God looked in my soul and saw
A dawn rise and gleam.
Near the end of April
Twenty Mays have met,
And half a word and half a dream
Remember and forget.
William Stanley Braithwaite
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Hi Rebecca and Dennis,
Your age request has been officially changed on the wait list to:
A sibling group of two children, with at least one boy: 0-60 months at the time of referral.
Erin Wise, LICSW
Africa Case Manager
Wide Horizons For Children
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
"It has been determined that you are able to furnish proper care to an orphan or orphans as defined by Section 101(B)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act."
Thank God for government approval - the first of many anyway.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
April 26 - our anniversary - our 12th anniversary. Wow. Dennis is out of town this weekend, as he is almost every year, at the CMC Fly Fishing Class field trip. He should be home in an hour or so, and then we will have a romantic dinner somewhere.
It is finally raining. I worked in the garden this morning; it really needed it. I pruned back the three-leaf sumac by one third and it looks great. A couple of weeks ago I went to the "No Fear Pruning" class through Footshills at Jared's. The sumac is less than two years old, but it is already four feet high. Instructor said this is because sumacs are just a big weed. But it gets tall and is drought tolerant, and that is just what that spot needed, so there it is. When it leafs out I will try to post a picture.
We are almost done with our dossier. I am just waiting for our two reference letters (they are written, signed and enroute) and state-certified Power of Attorney for Dr. T. I will definitely let you know when the dossier is accepted by WHFC. We will be drinking champagne that day. Or maybe today for the anniversary!
Addie is loving the great weather, and even Xing Xing has been dying to get on the deck. She is so cute when she curls up in a container. But soon the containers will be full of flowers or veggies or herbs. I planted Bright Lights Swiss Chard and French Breakfast Radishes a few weeks ago. They struggled through the bad weather, but are on their way now. I also planted some very old seeds:
* Mache, not yet sprouted
* Butterbay Soybean, a bushy variety, also not yet sprouted
* Mesclun Cooks Tangy Mix, which already overtook the Swiss Chard in size
Pray the birds don't pull it all out!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Although in this economy, and with significant expenses in my future, I am thankful and happy to have a job. In fact, I am thinking of going back to full-time. But there is always a place in my heart and mind that is playing out a life in which I do not have to work. Dennis used to think I was joking around, but he is starting to get the picture. “If I didn’t work, I could go to Grace Ways,” I say. Or “We could let go of the housekeeper and gardener.” Even “I could actually cook dinner for us most nights – with food from the garden”… But more importantly, won’t I have more time to serve?
This is the thing: I want to serve. But somehow I don’t ever do it. Yes, I am in two small groups through church, and we are supposed to be doing service projects. We do perform our worship service every now and then, but that is it. Don’t get me wrong – I celebrate this accomplishment, if you will, and it is fuel. My participation in “What’s Happening” is too joyful to be considered service. But I hear a call to do more. So now I am trying to move from wishfully thinking about service, to making it at least an occasional act. Then, it won’t be long before it becomes my hobby. And then, perhaps, a way of life. Right?
Being in Nellore with Titus and his family and the AH India community was such an inspiration to me. You may have heard me say that communing with Titus kind of makes one want to drop everything, rent an apartment in Nellore, and get busy with AH India. For those of you who do not know, Titus actually has a day job. He and his wife, Arathi, are professors at one of the local colleges. So how, you may be wondering, is he also the pastor at Abiding Hope Nellore? He has commitment and help. Arathi, Marilyne, Williams, and other family members, Karunakar and Ruthamma, Bangaraiah, among others. All of these brothers and sisters of the church come together and create an Abiding Hope community 8700 miles from ours. And it is a wonderful and real example of how we can reach out to others: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, supporting medical teams, offering sewing and spoken English classes – the list is limitless in our hearts and ultimately in reality. As Titus reaches out to others, he is also raising them up - not just those being served, but those who are serving!
“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
My mind is made up.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
“Life of Devotion,” or, Who Has Time for All That?
Although I have many connections to India through work, being there was still a new and overwhelming experience in so many ways. PC and David wisely arranged for the first part of trip to be at Gobind Sadan, where we could introduce ourselves at a manageable pace to this country rich in culture, where ancient history meets modern technology, replete with extreme opposites. Our drive from the airport was long, even though it was late, and gave us an opportunity to observe a Friday night in Delhi. We passed one gated residence after another where weddings were taking place. In fact, November to March is considered “marriage season” due to cooler temperatures and less rain. My neck stretched with curiosity, peering into the gates adorned in twinkle lights and marigold garlands, choked with cars and attendees, where Indian music with a modern flair filled the air.
Gobind Sadan (GS) was a wonderful refuge from the hustle and bustle of Old and New Delhi. Known as “God’s House Without Walls,” GS is an international interfaith community where your spirit can be renewed and faith strengthened. We were not at GS long before I was struck by the many rituals, referred to as Everyday Miracles, that take place, recognizing all faith traditions practiced there. Some rituals were foreign and strange to me: attending devotions at the havan, or sacred fire; sharing Prasad, a sweet crumbly food made of flour, ghee and sugar; and observing Akhand Path, or sacred readings, which apparently go on 24/7 (feel free to settle in for a two-hour turn when you are there). Other acts of devotion were more familiar: Kirtan or hymns of praise often with great healing qualities, like we do at the yoga studio; and Buddhist silent meditation sandwiched between 8am havan and breakfast. After working through the initial reactions to these things (like, do I really have to eat this Prasad?, and, do these singers really need to be mic’d?) the emotions stirred by these daily, almost continuous acts of devotion to the one God of all creation did renew my spirit. What a wonderful and overt way to bring your faith into every day life and create interdependence, community and fellowship.
Particularly moving is the daily evening devotion at Jesus’ Place. The children, among others, excitedly attend the evening worship here, which consists of lighting candles, reciting the Lord’s Prayer, and when we were there, an offering of fruit to each in attendance. I was overcome by the children letting their light shine, their unabashed devotion. Visitors can come to this place anytime to offer flowers, incense and candles. Our host, Sister Mary, who has been living at GS for 18 years, leads them to Jesus’ place for divine blessings and healing.
So while back in the United States we may tread lightly in our faith, at Gobind Sadan, and much of India I suspect, people are openly spiritual. I ponder the possibility of this balanced with political rest and religious tolerance in India. But for me, what boldness! I am inspired to continue my regular and weekly attendance at Worship, sing loud in praise, commit to the fellowship of my formal and informal small groups, and SERVE.
(a full schedule of devotions can be found at http://www.gobindsadan.org/about/daily-activities-a-prayer-life.html)