Monday, October 31, 2016

Cancer Doesn't Pick Favorites

... or, at least, that's what my dad reminds us. Amidst sobs of agony from the little girls.

If the we could just award a person with some kind of 'best human being' award, my grandpa would have won two days after birth.

He's the guy that goes through years of college to become a Chiropractor and then gives away his services like it's a charity.

He's the one that takes all the carts from the Walmart parking lot cart-corrals, and pushes them up to the store, to save the cart-pushers some work.

If you ask him how he is, the answer will be "blessed".

He whistles hymns a lot.

And cries during movies.

And loves The Sound of Music. Or anything Julie Andrews.

Cancer doesn't pick favorites.

But neither do car wrecks.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Peculiar Arts: Thankfulness Journaling + Pictures

We're about one month out from Thanksgiving!...??

Don't ask me how that happened. Pretty sure my wall calendar is still on June.

Nevertheless, I really love this time of the year, and for the next month, you'll probably be seeing more gratefulness/thankfulness/appreciation-promoting posts. Half because it's almost Thanksgiving; half because I need to preach to myself on the topic, anyways. Isn't it just way too easy to attribute the good things in life to yourself, and forget from Whom comes every good and perfect gift? (See James 1:17)

Back in February, I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. (You might remember me mentioning it in the Book Tag Post I posted back in August.) That book really fixed my perspective on some things. It's the little things that make life. The little choices. The little moments. The little gifts and blessings. I need to be more aware of this, and more purposeful in how I treat and react to those little things.

Even though the book was written by a mom, and it's probably more "geared towards" a mom audience, I took the challenge. I started a thankfulness journal. The journal I just happened to use has exactly 25 lines on every page, so that makes it easy to keep track of numbering.

The initial idea was that I wanted to get a full thousand (like, you know, one thousand gifts) by the New Year, but it's the end of October and I only have about 350. So it's probably not going to happen. Maybe next year. :)

It's not that I don't have one thousand things to be thankful for, as much as I forget 95% of them when I actually sit down to write in the journal. Haha! Truly, though, it's a work in progress, and I enjoy the challenge of thinking up more blessings to record down. This whole thing has also spilled over onto my Pinterest boards (of course), and I now have an entire board called 'Life is Beautiful', which is basically just pictures and beautiful things to remember not to take for granted. (If you're interested in that, you can view that board here.)

I'm including this post in my on-going (and very spread-out) series on 'Peculiar Arts', because it's something not enough people out there are doing, or even realize they should be doing. And it's an art; recognizing beauty where others see nothing is certainly an art.

You should try it.

Start with 10. Just ten things you find beauty and blessing in.

Then 100.

Next thing you know, your list might just start looking like mine...

#7 - Black and White Pictures

Monday, October 10, 2016

One Last Missions Trip Post + Pictures

Google Drive is awesome.

Everybody shared their pictures with me on there.

It's like the ultimate concentrated nostalgia.

The only reason I'm putting these out in a post is because I love blog posts about missions work (and/or missions trips). The pictures are my favorite part. And forget posing. I want to see every single picture. I want to see the culture. The love. The fun.

This is for anybody out there who might feel the same way.

Extra missions trip pictures. <3

(Warning: these are not arranged in any kind of order.)

At the Jubilee, your registration fee (about $1.50 US) paid for three meals a day up at the church. Dinner was never on time, but nobody minded. The fellowship was the best. 

A church service during Jubilee. Note how the entire structure is made out of bamboo.

We met a little family that lives on some rice paddies down in a valley between the mountains. We left some food, money, and the Gospel message. 

Another church service picture. The white building to the right is the actual church in Bang Lim (the village), but it's way too small to hold the 1,800 (approx) Jubilee attendees, so they built the bamboo one. Even though the white church is technically a building, don't let it fool you- everything is open-air in Bang Lim.

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Trying Isn't Good Enough

     "I'm trying..." My voice breaks. I pull the phone from my ear to wipe the tears off of it. Lying on my bed talking to my mom over the phone is the first time I've actually cried.

     "I know you are," she consoles, about the best a mom can over the phone.

     My grandpa has had cancer for a week at this point. Well, no. He's had cancer for a good long while, telling by how much it has "eaten him up". But nobody knew. Until exactly one week ago.

     And I cry.

     For my grandpa.

     For under-appreciated years.

     For my mom. Who has been away from her family more in the last week than she ever has since my birth.

     For myself. Who is not quite ready to take over being mom and teacher and household manager to my six younger siblings. But is trying her hardest. For her mom. For her grandpa.

     Be strong. You know how the house works, I continuously remind myself throughout the days of diaper-changing and piano-teaching and meal-cooking and dog-wrangling and school-administrating. Sure, I've been preparing to run a home for my entire life, more or less. But I still can't do it as well as my mom.

     And I cry for that, too.

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