Sunday, January 30, 2011


I recently heard Mercy Me's new song 'Beautiful' for the first time. It's now my theme song for the women in our area. It's easy to think of them as victims in need of rescue, but that's not who they ARE. They are treasured creations of a loving Father. They were made with a precise plan and a priceless purpose. This is His heart for them:

"The days will come when you don't have the strength
When all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they'd see too much

I'm pr-ying that you have the heart to find
Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
And they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skys above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
In His eyes

You're beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You're meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His"

-"Beautiful" by Mercy Me
-It's much better with the music, too, so if you haven't heard need to! :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Recent Stuff

It's been a busy few weeks. We currently have two teams of great people here from New Zealand as well as a number of longer term volunteers. It's been keeping Steve hopping to keep ahead of them. We love it!

It was interesting watching the kids' thought processes going to a more materially comfortable place for the first time since we moved here and then coming back. Aaron processed things a bit while we were in Dubai but had a great attitude about it when we got back. Adam being younger was oblivious to the contrast until he got back here. There were lots of tears on his first day back at school and he was hanging around Mom heaps the next few days. I explained the concept of culture shock to him a bit since he's a little thinker. I thought it might help him to understand what was going on so he could be more objective.

But the next morning at school he started crying again and the teachers got Rachel out of her class to comfort him. When she asked what was wrong he wailed, "I've got CULTURE SHOCK!" Rachel being a thinker as well quickly responded, "Oh, Adam, you're over that now. Culture shock only lasts for 24 hours." And apparently that helped!

Everyone's doing well now although someone's been sick pretty much for the last month. Last year at this time we had a period of lots of respiratory stuff but now it's mostly been stomaches. Think we're on the upswing now, though!


I've always believed that it's important to foster an attitude of gratitude whatever my circumstances. That my internal thought processes have a huge impact on my world at large. A friend recently quoted an Indian proverb that sums it up well:

"Whatever you are overflowing with will spill out when you are bumped."

Good, eh?!

Yesterday I read something I'd never noticed before about a thankful heart. That's it's not something that only either benefits or is detrimental to me and people around me, but that it's something that I can give to my Father.

"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to G-d........But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me." Ps. 50:13, 21

I love that concept!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tick Tock

After watching the biggest fireworks display of 2010 (see below!) we walked for over an hour trying to find a metro train stop empty enough for us to get on the train in the forseeable future. We had passed by two and knew the next one was quite a distance away, so were relieved to finally find a nice, warm taxi to slip in to take us there. I glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard. It said, "1:11." (Can clocks say things and are quotes necessary? Not sure!)

Then it struck me. It was 1:11 on 1-1-11..................! As I stared at the clock the minute seemed to last forever, and because I was so focused it will stick in my mind for some time to come.

There are seasons in my life that I've wanted time to pass quickly so I could move on to something else. There have been other times that I want to hang onto like that one in a cozy taxi with my beloved family (and an Egyptian driver we'd never met before!) after a memorable night. Since Hannah has less than 6 months left of high school, I've been realizing how fast the minutes since she was born have gone. I want many more minutes with her to hang onto before she leaves home. As the clock is ticking, I want many moments of my life to be memorable. To be significant enough to count.

I want to look back at the end of my life and not just count the years----but the minutes that MATTERED.

"Always work enthusiasticaly for the L-rd, for you know that nothing you do for the L-rd is ever useless." ~I Cor. 15: 58

Happy New Year!

We've just returned from spending Christmas and New Years in Dubai. The plan was to go a bit further by bus to Steve's brother's house for Christmas weekend, but since Rachel was really sick and couldn't make the bus trip, he came to see us instead. And I got to meet his lovely wife for the first time!

We stayed at a large home that is open to foreign 'workers' passing through the area. Enormously cheaper than the hotels there (!) and what a haven it was with a large library of books and videos and other like-minded people passing through to fellowship with. Not to mention mattresses like clouds! And waffles for breakfast.....

We're grateful for the wonderful time of recharge and refreshment after our first 13 months in our new area. We got to do some fun things like see one of the largest aquariums in the world in the largest mall in the world. (Steve's still trying to figure out how they engineered it to withstand the water pressure!) Steve got to do some skiing for his Christmas present in the second biggest mall in the world. The kids got to ice skate and use Christmas money to buy clothes that they needed. We all enjoyed visiting the Global Village where there are sections representing countries all over the world with handicrafts available from each.

We spent New Year's Eve watching the largest world-wide display of fireworks in 2010 being launched off of the tallest building in the world! (Can you tell Dubai likes to have the 'largest' and best of everything?) We left the house at 8:30 pm to be there before 11:00 when the gates were shut around the building. We sat with thousands of others on the grass waiting with their families and friends. At midnight there was a six minute or so firework display----but what an amazing 6 minutes it was!!! Then we spent until nearly 3am trying to get home on public transportation all in a friendly, carnival like atmosphere.

Watching the culture there was fascinating as well! Very unique place. Now we're back where money doesn't grow on trees! Or under the sand...

Heather and kids in front of Birj Khalifa (ie: the tallest building in the world.)