Thursday, May 31, 2012

BIG BELIEFS, Little Beliefs

I love this series! It's a total copycat from Tara, but she lets me do it!
Here is the first post of BIG BELIEFS, Little Beliefs.

I believe that...

  1. The beach makes everything better.
  2. Coming home is grand.
  3. Pineapple milkshakes are what has been missing from my life...until now.
  4. My Spouse puts up with a lot. A lot.
  5. Packing is the devil.
  6. The Body of Christ can be so encouraging. We have received so much!
  7. Little girls should wear braids and pigtails as often as possible. Gracious, they are adorable!
  8. Focusing on 'whatever is pure, right, admirable, praiseworthy' IS the power of positive thinking. (Phil. 4:8)
  9. Cellulite looks better with a tan.
  10. Dancing is good for the soul.
  11. I love reading Spouse's notes in his Bible.
  12. Sometimes, sometimes, it's good to let the Littles think they legitimately won a game.
  13. Everyone should leave town for a period of time and experience the 'coming home'. 
  14. My girls love going off, but they love us the best.
  15. Complete surrender sounds romantic.
  16. There is something magical about your very own bed with your very own pillows.
  17. The rights of parents are under attack. 
  18. God's timing is perfect.
  19. A friend whose voice is recognizable from across the room is a treasure.
  20. Duck Dynasty is what's good about television.
  21. Tattoos on pregnant bellies in bikinis are...well...tattoos on pregnant bellies in bikinis.
  22. Dating is not a mission field.
  23. We really can find an excuse for anything.
  24. A Dust Buster is a wonderful little cleaning gadget.
  25. You are somebody's everything.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back in the 813

Allright, well we've been back in the 813 for a week now! Let me say, I think everyone should leave town for a few months and come back home. It is awesome! Our family and sweet friends have welcomed us home well! 
There really is no place like home! 

Our girls were running around the house like crazy! "Look, my couch! Look, it's our fridge! Our magnets! Look, it's our paper towels! Mom! Our doors!" Seriously. 

A couple of our Lovelies visited us before we were even home. Our AC was on, we had Diet Mtn. Dew, Diet Coke, milk, cookies and some lovely flowers waiting for us! Seriously! You should leave and come home!

The original plan was to leave Houston on May 31, so we came home just about a week early to celebrate the life of a friend that was family to us. I have said many times that I haven't cried over a man other than my Spouse like I have for Mike Storter! That guy! 
Superman wears Mike Storter pajamas, and they are orange and blue.
(Photo from Stephanie Humphrey Photography and it's lovely.)
We had some "have to's" for as soon as we got home. Ya know, the priorities.

I really wanted to make it to church on Wednesday night. Our whole family of believers was grieving, and we wanted to be with them. The Lord honored our petitions for good weather and traffic and we got home in record time. We came home, got cleaned up and took ourselves to the Baptist Church! :)
Not my pic. Got it from Google. :)

Then, we made haste to get to Grandpa's--Johnson BBQ, call it what you want, it's Grandpa Johnson's.  I got some grits and tomato gravy and collard greens! My Kayla even got me a huge sweet tea WITH MY NAME ON IT before I even got in the door! I love that place! 

Look at it! It's beautiful! (Not my pic, either.)
Last Wednesday was the season finale of Duck Dynasty, so some of our crew, The Millennials, I call them, went to a friends house for the show.

Love them. 
This was all on Wednesday. I don't know what happened on Thursday. Oh, yes...Spouse was working on water pump and plumbing issues all day. We finally got to visit with my In-Loves a bit on Thursday night, too. :)
Friday was more around the house, and the Celebration Service for Mike. It was unbelievable. A life lived for Jesus. Amazing.

Then, Saturday. Home. Ahhhhh....Ft. DeSoto Beach. I was giddy. No joke. You know how the littles get so beside themselves at Cinderella's Castle? That was me. High-pitched voice and all. I had a real hard time leaving.
Ignore the random people, just look at the lovely water.
God's Water Park. He made it for us. 
It is so good to be home.

We think, Lord willing, we will be here about a month. Then, back to Houston for a few more months. It will be hard for us to leave Florida in the summer.
We LOVE summer. We love summer because we love the beach.
Not in Houston. Aggghhh! I'm scared.

This is dying to self, People. Dying to self.

Then, we don't know what. And, that's the truth.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One pound


Somebody needs this. :)

Only 1 Pound

Hello, do you know me?
If you don't, you should.
I'm a pound of fat,
And I'm the happiest pound of fat that you would ever want to meet.
Want to know why?
It's because no one ever wants to lose me.
I'm only one pound, just a pound!
Everyone wants to lose three pounds,
five pounds, or fifteen pounds, but never only one.
So I just stick around and happily keep you fat.
Then I add to myself, ever so slyly,
so that you never seem to notice it.
That is, until I've grown to ten, twenty, thirty or even more pounds in weight.
Yes, it's fun being only one pound of fat, left to do as I please.
So, when you weigh in, keep right on saying,
"Oh, I only lost one pound," (as if that were such a terrible thing).
For you see, if you do this,
you'll encourage others to keep me around because they'll think I'm not worth losing.
And, I love being around you -
your arms, your legs,
your chin, your hips and every part of you.
Happy Days!
After all, I'm
only one pound of fat!
--Anonymous

Is that brilliant!?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

House Hunters: Houston


If you know us well, as in, you have been to our home, you well know that The Spouses have very low standards of living. We just don't care. It's almost to a fault, actually. Something is wrong when a grown woman (me) buys a used living room set from a friend and buys new Stand Up Paddle Boards. Really.

Anyway, with the news that we are likely returning to Houston, Meghan and Maddy and I got pretty excited about getting to shop for temporary housing. (The hotel has been great, but ya know...)

We set out for House Hunters: Houston.

We had an unnamed narrating host, (who doesn't think this is cool, but verified that I quoted her correctly.)
"Mark and Melissa are native Floridians who are temporarily relocating to Houston, Texas with their 2 daughters. They are looking for corporate housing in the downtown area so that Mark will be close to the downtown light rail. Location is most important to this family, with a family-friendly pool being the next priority."
She was cracking me up.

We look at these outrageous apartments and condos with names like The Plaza and The Villas and The Valencia.
Can you picture it? We are from freaking THONOTOSASSA! Bah!
Holy Upgrade, Batman!

We go from no standard whatsoever to, and I kid you not, "Mom, I really want a condo with the granite or marble countertops."
What? My little miniature house hunters were straight up walking around with these leasing agents with the iPad and old school notebooks taking notes of pros and cons. Dead serious.
And, they have opinions about this junk, too. Every one of the complexes we looked at are quite luxurious. But, Maddy has her favorite, and she speaks of MY favorite as if it has dirt floor. I'm not kidding! You should see her face! "Mom, it doesn't even have the arch on the bar!"
Bleh.
Condemn the place, I say!

(My poor Spouse can only laugh. He is so great. Between the Lord and my Spouse, we are very well taken care of.)

Here are a couple of examples:



We haven't made a decision, yet, because as you know, WE DON'T KNOW WHEN WE ARE COMING BACK! It's so cool, though, these places have 14 day Notice to Vacate, so they don't need a lot of notice to have it ready.
I just can't even believe this is our life. Really. The Suite Life. Bless.

We did not sign up for this. We got signed up!
I keep asking the girls, "What is all this about?"
Meg said, "To give honor to God and live in a really rich place!" Ha! She was so kidding.

Best thing we can do, as far as I can tell, is give God all the glory and enjoy the ride!

No Arrogant Schemes

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16

"This family is gold!" This is Meghan's latest description of our family and the crazy life we are living. She blurts this out any time I'm having an episode about traffic, Spouse's driving, etc. It's awesome.

Quick update: (Quick?! Yah, right! I'm on the road. I've got all kinds of time. Chuckle now.)

Update:

So, Friday night Spouse comes home and says we need to have a family meeting. Bless. What is it now?! He is wondering what it would take for us to go home for the month of June, get prepared (in faith) for Manila, and come back to an apartment or condo in Houston until time to go. (Tara Parker, this is with the understanding that we would be home for a week in August!) 
This may have been the worst family meeting we've had in a while. Dude had 3 girls calling out a list of demands! 
"I want to go see my friends!"
"I thought we were going home next week?"
"Will this get us to Manila faster?"
"How long will we be home?"
"I want to bring back my bike."
"There is no good beaches here, Dad!"
"Will we have to do school when we come back?"
"What about....?"
"Dude, we are flying!" --I won't say who said this one.

You don't have to be a swift reader to pick up all the "I"'s in these statements.
We had some time to pray and work through it. We read the call of Abraham again. And, once again, I'm empathetic to  "Princess" Sarah. Bless. 
Well, once we got our act together, we realized that this means we can star in our very own House Hunters Houston! Looking for an apartment, fully furnished, in the city that we don't have to pay for? Boom. Sign us up.
We busted out the trusty iCal. We will leave on June 1st. Get home, get our act together and sell, rent, store our stuff. We will come back to H-town in July and wait. Oh, I how I love the wait. :)

Another game changer happened: we lost our favorite Superhero, Mike, yesterday. He had a well-lived, albeit short life here with us. So bittersweet. 
Instead of leaving June 1st, we left today! We are hoping to be home tomorrow (Wednesday) night. We will see.  We don't know how long we will be home.

We are (sort of) getting accustomed to laughing and saying, "We don't know what our family is doing or where we are going!"

God does.

Dude. I am so glad.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The LORD Said.


Genesis 12
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation, 
    and I will bless you; 
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.[a] 
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse; 
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you. [b]
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land. ” So he built an altar there to the Lordwho had appeared to him.
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev...
...
Genesis 13 
...So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.
...

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring[a] forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents
There he built an altar to the Lord.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scared Straight!

In an effort to scare these wayward homeschoolers of mine into changing their ways, we took a little field trip to the Houston Police Museum and the Police Horse Stables. 

They didn't get scared, but we did have fun. And, it was totally free!
The Police Museum is a neat little place, across the street from us. It took us about 8 weeks of being here to visit. Typical, right?
Some awesome firearm that I'm sure was used for something really significant,
or has some special feature, or took out some really infamous bad guy.

Display of all the badges of officers killed in the line of duty. So sad.
My girls and I got on our knees prayed for the families left behind.
Cutesy.
Remember back in the day when the police would go to schools and talk about safety
and DARE and whatnot? Well, this robot and the car below would go, too! So cute. 
It's for Sheriff Barbie!
Then, we met some friends at the Horse Stables. Houston has about 36 horses in the Mounted Division. This was really neat. The cops just visited with us and answered my 87 questions!  Love that! You can bring carrots and apples to feed the horses. We also learned that they love peppermints. Presh!
We learned that they don't train the horses with the 'overexposure' method anymore. I had asked about the horses getting spooked with the traffic and the rail and whatnot, but one of the policemen told us that they have learned that if the owner doesn't make a big deal about it, the horse won't, either. Just like our kids, right!?
Also, the horses are donated. There are certain specs, but they will train younger or older horses. Companies can also sponsor the horses for $5,000 a year, the cost of maintaining the horse. Less expensive than a squad car, they told us. So, for the sponsorship, the horse gets a nickname showcasing the business. Snazzy.

The kid was in heaven.
This is Nacho, maybe he was sponsored by Moe's or something. (I don't really know that.)
This was hilarious. Justice making a scary face.
This is the Scared Straight trip, after all.


This is Spirit (He is sponsored by Spirit of Texas Bank.) making a funny face.
Spirit (his real name is Shadow) is a ham and evidently loves to perform.

It was a great little trip, the girls want to go back. We have seen these horses downtown, too, so that's been fun. I'm sure the cops are like, "Holy peppermint, Batman, there's that lady with girls that was peppering us with questions!" Ha! No, really, they are super nice. :)

Have a grand day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Category 3 Meltdown

I had about a Category 3 Meltdown today. Actually, it's been coming on for a couple of days now. Aside of a well-known medical condition, I believe there are a few contributing factors to said meltdown. 
I am missing my college crew something fierce. For real. Several weeks ago, I was feeling guilty because I was really doing okay! I was actually surprised that I wasn't missing them too bad. Well, I'm over it. Still, I'm divided. I'm not in a major hurry to go home and mow the yard or anything, but I'm ready to do some Bible study, Catch Phrase, and discuss major life issues with them! (Read: Duck Dynasty.) I am so bummed that they've experienced Rick Green, finals week, Avengers, Revolution, and Spiritual Gifts without us! I know they are grown and God loves them more than we do, but I'd like to be the one to remind them of that, thank you very much!


My girls are missing their friends. They are so sweet about it, too. They are careful not to complain, but I know Maddy is ready to hold Kerri's hand. (They don't walk from here to there without holding hands.) Meghan is ready to go to Miss Christie's and make iMovies with Bailey and Annabelle and Maddy. We had all these awesome field trips for a while, but that has sort of slowed down. We are still doing things, but ya know...not the same. Not only that, we would be in the midst of soccer season at home. My girls would be playing. Are we messing them up by being here?
  
On the flip side, we are getting experiences here like never before. We have had so many affirmations. We have ministered and been ministered to. We have met some of the neatest people and made new friendships that I hope will last. 

We love this little church with whom we are worshipping. The girls love it, too. We will miss it. As a matter of fact, that's what started my episode today--this morning at church, Mark leaned over and said, "I'm going to miss this little church." Ahhh! I know!! I will have to post about it (the church) separately. We have learned so much from our time here.
  
Let's not forget that we have no idea if we are going to Manila or not. Or when. 
I've got all these things floating in my head. The list of things we need to do, and a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-sized list of questions. 
weddings, graduations, schooling, what to sell?, what to keep?,
 rent our house?, get a storage unit?, immunizations, 
how long will we be home?, medications, what about North Carolina?,
dentists, contacts, books, what church will we go to?, how will we serve?, 
what about Mark's classes?, will anyone come see us?, 
will my girls love it?, will my girls hate it?, what about sports?,
 check-ups, medical records, is it going to rain all the time?,
am I going to be too much for the filipino people?,
I need enough rooms for a lot of people...

That would give any momma a meltdown! Spouse tweeted today that 'Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord...' Strength might rise while we wait upon the Lord, but so does the list of questions! Ha!
  
Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to His anointed. 
He answers him from His heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of His right hand. 
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, 
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 
They are brought to their knees and fall, 
    but we rise up and stand firm. 
Lord, give victory to the king!
    Answer us when we call! 

                         Psalm 20:6-9


I know that we are in God's will. I know that this experience is a good, fruit-producing one. We are enjoying Houston so much more than I ever thought we would!  It would be super-duper just to bring all my people here! :)


Please pray with us and for us as we wait for the next instructions. 


Love! Love!
Melissa

Friday, May 11, 2012

Big Beliefs, Little Beliefs

I believe that...




  1. Sharpie pens are one of life's great joys.
  2. I have a few friends that really speak truth to me.
  3. Vitamin D directly from the sun is glorious.
  4. Guys only jack with girls' hearts because the girls let em.
  5. My spouse is super-smart.
  6. Pornography fuels the slave trade. 
  7. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..."
  8. My girls have made some sweet friends in their little young lives.
  9. There are some tootie-frooties who shop at Whole Foods, myself included.
  10. A mission/service trip, preferably out of the country, should be a high school graduation requirement.
  11. Many conspiracy theories have some truth to them. 
  12. Most of us are walking contradictions.
  13. God's Word is alive.
  14. When listening to Tom Petty's "Free Falling", it is imperative that you roll the windows down.
  15. Flip-flops serve more than one purpose.
  16. Women should keep their cleavage covered up in public. All of it. 
  17. Back cleavage is even worse.
  18. Good pictures are the best souvenirs. 
  19. Men should not wear tank tops.
  20. Prayer works.
  21. Drinking a lot of water makes me feel better.
  22. Too many grandparents are parenting their grandkids. It's sad, but I'm thankful they are doing it.
  23. The ocean is God's Water Park. He gifted it to us.
  24. A graduate and a bride are two of the most hopeful people on the planet.
  25. You and I are a work in progress.
You know you have some hardcore beliefs. What are they?

~LOVE~
Melissa


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Non-Confessions

We all have things we wish we hadn't done.   


Here are some things people typically do NOT confess:

  • "I really regret that workout." 
    • I can be so sore I can't put my shirt on, but I always love having put in a good workout.
  • "I shouldn't have gotten up early to read my Bible." 
    • The Word is life-giving!
  • "I wish I would have had sex before I got married."  
    • Even if we marry the person we've slept with, most will say they wish they'd waited.
  • "I wish I were still holding that grudge."
    • Forgiveness frees you!
    • If you hold a grudge, it pees in your hand!
  • "I wish we wouldn't have had a big family."
    • Big families love their big families! 
  • "I'm so bummed my laundry is done."
    • This is just crazy talk! :)
  • "I'm so glad I got wasted last night."
    • No one is happy about what they don't remember.
  • "Man, I wish I would have settled for mediocre!"
    • God's best! 
  • "I am so glad I missed my kid's ________ (game, performance, etc.)"
    • This isn't the end of the world, but most parents aren't exactly 'glad' they missed.
  • "I wish I would have procrastinated."
    • Being 'caught up' is a lovely feeling. I don't have much experience with this, but it's lovely.
  • "I love being a complainer."
    • Complain about service, teachers, spouse, church, government...ahhh! Hush!
    • Criticism is NOT a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22 will tell you what IS!)
  • "I wish I would have worked more hours."
    • Not a typical deathbed statement.
  • "Yay, me! I passed my fear of ______ on to my children!"
    • A peeve of mine. I have always been intimidated by horses. So, I had my girls take lessons. When I would catch myself getting nervous, I'd leave. I've since worked through it and now I enjoy riding with my girls when we have the chance. I actually think I have a fear of my kids having a fear. :)
  • "I wish I wouldn't have decided to follow Jesus."
    • No turning back.
   
What are your 'Non-Confessions'?

~LOVE~
Melissa

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Real Love Story

Everyone has a story. Every couple has a story.


This is a story that is unlike many. 


This is The Story of Ian and Larissa.


Ian and Larissa, in less than 9 minutes, shook me to my core. They are the ultimate in Spouseisms.


If you are married, or think you may ever get married, I encourage you to learn their story. 

~LOVE~
Melissa

Friday, May 4, 2012

BIG Beliefs, Little Beliefs


I believe that...

  1. The Millennial Generation is rocking this world.
  2. Louie Giglio and Thom Rainer should be on auto-retweet.
  3. Putting in a new pair of contacts is a holy experience.
  4. My girls are more than I deserve.
  5. Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  6. A good book is one that makes it hard to sleep.
  7. The only 'Must Read' is the Bible.
  8. Once you go Mac, you never go back.
  9. If not for me, Spouse would live in a van down by the river...or beach.
  10. If you are the CFO of your child/teenager's life, you can and should require him/her to go to church. It will not mess 'em up.  
  11. There will never again be a song so epic as "I Want You to Want Me" by Cheap Trick.
  12. The Bible is inerrant and infallible.
  13. Every one needs to be loved like Marty loves us.
  14. It should be illegal to smoke in public. Private property only.
  15. I would have been a hot-mess of a twenty-something in the 60s. 
  16. Adoption is a perfect demonstration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  17. Hermeneutics is an excellent word. I like saying it.
  18. Chapstick is the 4th basic need, after food, water, shelter and before clothing.
  19. No person, young or old, large or small, should ever wear pants with writing on the rear end. Ever.
  20. You never know how selfish you really are until you have children.
  21. Marriage should be a picture of the Trinity.
  22. Every Christian should be connected with a local, Bible-believing church. None of this 'I'm having church in the woods' mess. Hogwash.
  23. Shopping for swimsuits is the devil.
  24. Quality pre-marital counseling is invaluable.
  25. I'm going to do this again! Thanks, Tara Parker!
What do you believe?

~LOVE~
Melissa


Thursday, May 3, 2012

98%

"So, what's up with y'all and the Philippines?" 
  
This is the current most FAQ we get, to which I reply, "Dude. We have no idea."
We really don't. And, shockingly, I'm good with it.


Here's a little back story:
  
We love Jesus. We love people. For several years we have been traveling when we could, serving and teaching in other cultures (mostly Latin America). Meanwhile, at home, serving in our youth and college ministries, which led to taking two groups on short term trips. The more people outside of our culture we meet, the more people we love. Seriously. There isn't any place we have been, whether in missions or vacation, that Spouse and I haven't said, "We could so live here. I dig these people." Even if we didn't speak their language, which has often been the case! I could always understand "Maleeesa!" Ah! Love it!
Anyway, a few years ago, Spouse went to Manila, Philippines for work. 
Shock and awe: he loved it. He has wanted us to go back there ever since. He saw the mission field. But, what about the mission field here, you say? I know. Welcome to my inner struggle. Not really. We are pretty sure.
  
Fast forward with a few MelNotes (Like SparkNotes, but from me): 

  • We get a pastor and his family who are evangelistically electric. (I just coined that term this very second.)
  • Our college students enter our life and home. They unknowingly forced us to step up our game in Bible Study, worldview, what we believe about missions, the local church, everything. Blow your hair back, kind of stuff. As a result, we are in the Word like never before.
  • Pastor brought in this hyper, evangelistic-machine of an intern one summer and we got a very wise missions pastor, both of whom the Lord has used to rock our world. Seriously. They had me at 'Go."
  • Spouse & I are sure we belong in 'missions' (as are all Believers).
  • We don't know where. We don't know when. We are clueless. 
  • We made this decision known to our [electric] pastor and church family and family-family.
  • Mark applies to Southeastern and gets accepted! Whoa! It's getting' real.
  • Mark lets the folks at his company know that he is making plans to leave to go to school full time in order to pursue international missions.
  • We pray and commit to the Lord that we will live like paupers, I mean, students, if that's what He wants for us. We do work and have a yard sale.
  • We made plans to visit SEBTS, find a place to live in Wake Forest and brace ourselves for a major lifestyle change. We are fine. We really don't live [relatively] extravagantly now, with the exception of all the BBQ.
  • Weeks pass and Mark gets an assignment in Houston for 3 months, with the possibility of an assignment in Manila for a couple of YEARS. Hello, Mission Field. 
  • We visit the campus of Southeastern and feel very comfortable. Girls love it, we love it. It feels homey.
  • We visit with friends & staff at Southeastern in whom we confide about this Manila thing. They say, "It's a dream. Do missions and pay your own way? As ex-pat missionaries or tentmakers? Your mission field is where you are." Yes! It is!
  • We came home from Wake Forest & Mark went to Houston. We made plans for all of us to go to Houston. We homeschool. Why not? We load up. I started a blog. :)
  • We love Houston. Houston has been a blessing to us and we have loved the people and shared Jesus with each one we could. This place is so diverse. There is every flavor of every kind represented here! THIS is international missions. Dig that! You should have to have a passport to come here! I guess if Texas secedes?? Ha! I hilariously digress!
  • Meetings, praying, relaxing, praying, bathing in Scripture, praying, blogging--this is where we are. A beautiful place. 

Our prayers all along have been simple: if it's not what the Lord wants that He would block it, and that our family's hearts would be united. He has honored the request for our family to be unified. The things our girls have reasoned is beyond the wisdom of any 9 or 11 year old--outside of Holy Spirit-given wisdom. One day last week, Maddy asked how long we would be there. I told her, "It looks like 24 months." She said, "24 months!? 2 years is nothing!" What?! 2 years is an eternity to a 9 year old! It's Jesus. Their prayers are precious. 
And, so far, God hasn't blocked it. I've asked Him to kill it dead, if it's not what He wants for us. Kill it D-E-A-D! It's not dead at all, we just don't have plane tickets yet. 
   
From the business perspective, we are waiting for budget approval. Mark's peers and superiors at work seem to believe he would be a good fit in Manila; they are working to make it happen. On the flip side, it's expensive to relocate a family of 4 to the other side of the globe. Literally half way around the world. Well, I need numbers. I need probability here, Dude. Mark had been 80% sure, but after a meeting last week, he bumped it up to 98%. Like my wise friend, Rachel, said, "If Weatherman says there's a 98% chance of rain, we're gettin' rain!" We just don't know for sure, for sure!
            
If I were to be completely truthful, I would tell you that I believe we would be a little disappointed if we don't get to, at this point. Even Maddy, who was a little sketchy at first. She said the other day, "So, Manila is a big city? Like Houston? Well, this has been a good transition for us then." Meghan is so on board. She caught the mission-bug last year when we took her to Guatemala. She sees the potential for our family to make the name of Jesus known in Manila and serve the people, but her temperament is more adventurous. 
I am believing in faith that our excitement is a result of God making His desires our desires. 
Take delight in the LORD, 
and He will give you the desires of your heart. 
Psalm 37:4


So, this is where we are today. This is "What's up with the Philippines". 
   
I put all this in a post for the purpose of asking you to thank the Lord on our behalf for what we've already seen Him do, and to ask that He continue to unite our hearts with His while He does His thing. 
Let me be clear: we are uncertain, but we are not confused. We are inexplicably at peace with this uncertainty. 
I've gotten doctors and dentist appointments set up for when we get home. I am addicted to blogs about travel and missions in Manila; I text my Ethan (spastic intern above) with questions. I am taking care of what little I can do from here, but mostly, I'm chill. I know you are having a hard time picturing this. Ask Mark. He doesn't really know what to think of it, either.


:)  ~LOVE~
               Melissa

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Worries Wednesday!

I don't mean Outback! I am talking the  "Hakuna Matata" kind of No Worries! 




My sweet friend, Matt, directed me to Proverbs 19:21 the other day, which promptly made its way to an index card and parked on the bathroom door.



So, if the Lord's plans are going to prevail and His ways are perfect, then we have No Worries, right!? And, we all know that worryin' isn't going to add a single hour to your life, right? Before this gets heavier than your writer intends, let's look at some things NOT to worry about!

Let's NOT WORRY...

- if you don't know where the Lord is going to send your family. It'll be somewhere! ;)

- if I don't workout as much as I planned while in Houston. Just enough is OK for this season of my life.

- when your playdate gets cancelled. Make it a 'School By the Pool' Day!

- if you play a lot of Bananagrams in the name of homeschool fun!

- if you decide to be nice to cellulite by tanning it. Cellulite looks much better with a tan.

- if I love that my kids do not like hummus simply because they won't eat it all. Just sayin.

- if I want to love on some Filipinos, but I also want to visit some awesome beaches.

- when all my grandiose plans are replaced by a wonderful, peaceful time with my girls.

- when I'm so relaxed that Spouse says, "I've never seen you so chill!"

- if I have a bunch of Words with Friends games going. I love it. 

- if I am addicted to reading Ex-pat blogs about Manila.

- if I blew off Draw Something. That was fun while it lasted.

- about how all this craziness is impacting my girls. They have been given a supernatural understanding that can only be explained by the Holy Spirit. It's incredible.

- if a HYPOTHETICAL PERSON got overly excited about Tiramisu at a Chinese restaurant only to find out they were OUT of Tiramisu.

- if I have neglected a treasured friend for WAY TOO LONG because she and I pick up right where we left off. Love you, JG.

- when Spouse was worried about a young girl on the street, we see her later and see that she CLEARLY isn't so young and is CLEARLY 'working' and he says 
(in hopes of our ministering to her), 
"Are you going to be around later?" Bless him. He knows not what he says. 

- if I simultaneously miss my people and LOVE this Suite Life. I really just want them here.

- if my sweet spouse has to study while I cry-laugh at Madea's Big Happy Family. I felt moderately guilty, but he doesn't appreciate her like I do.

- if I have an odd peace about all this uncertainty. Hallelujerrr.


What are you going to NOT worry about?

~Hakuna Matata~

Love!

Melissa