Sunday, August 27, 2006

August 27, 2006
The chaos from the wedding has ended, but our lives are still too fast for my liking. John just had bunion surgery on his left foot, he is feeling horrible and is really considering not returning to work this Wednesday. His doctor's appointment is this coming Monday so hopefully John can get onto some new pain medications that are less "mind numbing." I feel so bad for John, he is in such pain and hates being cooped up in bed all day. Thank goodness for Mothers! John's mother has been here helping out this week; I don't know how I would have managed without her! I have been trying to pass the time for John by reading to him. We are reading a great book called Facing Terror, written by Carrie McDonnall. The book describes the lives of missionaries serving the Arab Muslim's in Iraq . It is an awesome book that goes into great detail about the culture and history of Iraq and other countries such as Sudan , Israel , Palestine , and Jordan .
Drew has not been handling the chaos well at all. He is so use to our predictable lives that always cater to his schedule. Drew has had so many changes recently: starting school one day a week, lack of routine due to the wedding, John's surgery, teething, shots, and to top it off I was gone at a Women's conference for two days. Poor Drew had two horrible nightmares this week which kept him up into the wee hours of the night. The first spell I almost took him to the ER because he was so inconsolable, he just screamed and screamed like his tummy hurt. Then again, another nightmare happened last night. I was more prepared for this one, I took him into the big tub in our room and filled it with bubbles, we just sat in there for about an hour singing praise songs while I rubbed his back. Drew went right to sleep in my arms while I rocked him to sleep. Poor Drew, please pray for him, he has school again tomorrow and I am praying it doesn't disrupt his little world too much.
Julie and Ruben just returned from their Honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean and they had a blast! We had brunch with them today and heard all about their fun time! They are looking forward to strengthening their marriage foundation in the Lord.
Drew and I visited Julia and her boys again this week. I had mentioned last time that their home was not air conditioned and the Lord provided! He sent us a window A/C unit that we delivered on Tuesday. I was also able to find some more clothes at the Goodwill thanks to their monthly 1/2 price days. When Drew and I were dropping off some much needed supplies, the sweetest thing happened. Dylan, the 3 year old, ran over to us with the biggest grin on his face. He had a special picture he had made out of some of the school supplies we brought the week before. He was so thrilled to share his drawing with us. Please keep this sweet family in your prayers, I pray that our relationship with them would grow and that they would see the love of Jesus Christ in our family.
Melissa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

30 Days of Nothing


I read this on another site, I can't wait for John to come home tonight so we can discuss whether or not we should do this as a family. I thought I would post it incase anyone else wanted to participate.
Melissa
30 Days of Nothing
http://intent.squarespace.com/journal/2006/8/20/30-days-of-nothing.html
We're out of touch. Let's just be honest about that right up front.

Today, across the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day; 3 billion live on under two dollars a day; 1.3 billion have no access to clean water; 3 billion have no access to sanitation; 2 billion have no access to electricity. 1

Think about your children; about the hard work you put into raising them.
Now imagine doing it with no electricity.
No bathroom. No garbage service.
No clean water.
On $2 a day.
Is it any wonder that 30,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from poverty-related issues? That's 210,000 a week or over 10 million a year, if you're counting. 2
I have four children. When they woke up this morning I kissed them and made them a good healthy breakfast. 30,000 other children died.

Americans spend $110 billion a year on fast food, 3
39 billion dollars a year on their pets. 4
We are carrying over 2 trillion dollars in credit card and auto debt. 5

The disparity haunts me. How does a Christ-follower reconcile the needs of the world with the realities of every day life in an affluent nation?
I just don't know - but we're going to spend a month trying to find out.
Beginning September 1st, I invite you to join me in a 30 day fast from consumerism.
For 30 days, my family will buy nothing except our basic necessities. No clothes or books. No movies, no trips to the ice cream parlor. No paper, or pictures, or magazines. No fancy hair gel or take-and-bake pizza. Lattes? Nope. Nothing except what it takes to live. During that month, I will journal our experiences, and blog my thoughts about poverty and hunger and our response to those issues. I'd like to try and identify with some of the "least" ( economically) of the world. We will try and live without electricity for a day; eat only rice for a day. Perhaps the family will sleep together in one room for a night - on the floor; or walk six miles one day - the distance some African women walk daily to get clean water.
The goal of this month-long fast is to break the grip of materialism in our hearts and minds. We want to live in gratitude, not discontent; and we want to live with awareness of the great responsibility our affluence has laid on our shoulders.
I encourage you to pray about participating in this challenge. For those of you who are interested, take the next two weeks to pray about the parameters. Decide as a family what are your necessities and what you will give up . You can participate as much or as little as you feel led. Beginning September 1st there will be a separate discussion page at Intent where you can share your experiences and thoughts.
Please feel free to use the 30 Days of Nothing button on your blog and spread the word. (If you need help with the button, just email me.)

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?" Isaiah 58:7
"...happy is he who is gracious to the poor." Prov. 14:21

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16, 2006
We are on vacation and the wedding is upon us. I finished work yesterday, today Drew and I went to visit relatives and I am now relaxing by updating the web page. Drew is in heaven with all the people around, yesterday he played so hard with his second cousins that he didn't want to wake up this morning. Drew slept in until 9:30 and then napped from 12:20-5:00 - Wow! He sure was exhausted. Tonight we are having about 25 people over for dinner. It will be so fun to visit with everyone. Ruben's parents will be her cooking their famous rice & beans to go along with a Texas Brisket and a Pork Loin. I baked a German Chocolate cake today for desert. I will take a lot of pictures so those of you who aren't here can view the madness!
On to the other happenings in our life - last week I picked Drew up and threw out my back. I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk or move for 2 days. I finally went to a back specialist and they gave me some pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs. They helped a lot! They also did some electrical shock therapy a few times last week. I am feeling a lot better but still need to wear my back brace often. Since I was unable to move, John's mother from Oregon flew in for a wonderful visit. She is so wonderful to come and clean the house! She also watched Drew the whole time. I must say that I really missed Drew while she was here. I especially missed our book reading and block time! Drew had a blast with his live in playmate!
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that Drew is signed up for school! He will be attending First Baptist Keller's Mothers Day Out Program one day a week. We went and met his teachers on Monday and he LOVED the room and toys. He became very upset when we had to leave, I guess that is a good sign! I will post lots of pictures of Drew's first day of school. Drew's class is 18-24 month olds. He is by far the smallest! There are 4 boys and 4 girls in his class. They have a wonderful schedule of reading, music, play time, craft, PE and Bible. What fun... I wish I could go!
I took Drew in for his 18 month checkup this week. He had to get two shots! We discovered that Drew went through a growth spurt... finally. He weigned in at 22 pounds 8 oz (10%), 31 1/2 inches tall (25-50%), and 18 1/4 in head circumference (10-25%). Drew's next appointment will be at 2 years of age.
Love,
Melissa

Sunday, August 6, 2006

August 6th, 2006
Greetings! Only two more weeks until Ruben and & Julie's wedding! We can't wait to see everyone who is coming to the wedding. It is sure to be hot, but we have some fun air-conditioned events planned. That also means that John's surgery is only a few weeks away too - he can't wait for his foot to feel better. John only has 2 1/2 more weeks of this term so he is very busy preparing for finals. He also has a few last minute projects to complete before the wedding - like clean up the guest room and the garage.
This weekend Drew moved up into a new class at church. He was so excited to go into a room with tables and chairs his size. He didn't even care that I left! His teacher said that he told everyone "hi" the whole hour. Drew has a lot of new words too; his vocabulary is exploding. Today I was reading him a book and he pointed to the red car and said "car" just like that. I am so excited that he can communicate with us! Some friends were over on Saturday and they even understood him!
Sunday supper was actually eaten on Saturday night - since John had to work on Sunday. We went to church with our friends Natalie and Mat and then came home for a steak dinner. It was so much fun to catch up with our friends and share recent happenings. John ran a few ideas by them for his new misting system and then we sat outside and talked around my flowerbeds. The evening was very pleasant and the flowers were in full bloom.
Ephesians 5:1-2
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Today we took some clothes and toys to the family we adopted. God is so good to provide for us so that we are able to bless others! One of our new families is a single mom with 5 boys! She has her hands full. Pulling up to their non air-conditioned home in the slums of Haltom City on a 102 degree day really put my life purpose into perspective. I often take my life, child, and wonderful marriage for granted. I've begun to realize God's purpose for our family is to be a servant to others - to be imitators of God by sacrificially giving of time, resources, and energy. That is such a hard job, one I confess to be totally inadequate for. I am in awe that God can overcome my shortcomings. The family was so thankful for the clothes, toys, and school supplies. It is such a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I hope they see Jesus when they look to our family.
God gave me a personal message today, delivering it through my sweet little Drew - he reminded me that servanthood was what I was created for. The message actually came in the form of a story - when Drew and I arrived to meet the new family we are helping, my son immediately saw one of his old toys and grabbed it from the box. After visiting and getting to know one another for 10 minutes it was time to go and time for Drew to give up the toy he had latched onto. I explained that we were giving the toy to his new friend Christopher so he could play with it. Drew was not too thrilled with his new plan, but walked over and gave the tractor to Christopher and his brother Dylan. Even now it brings my eyes to tears as I remember watching the scene unfold. My little 18 month old was giving away his toy to a family who needed it more. Thank you Lord that Drew had a giving heart! It touched my life more than words can express. Please continue to pray for Julia and her 5 boys. They are such a sweet family and we are so privileged to be used by God in their lives.
Love,
Melissa