Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thankful in December

I was lucky enough to spend the month of November home in California with my incredible family and friends. Even though I was there for almost 4 full weeks, the time seemed to fly by and it was over before I could see everyone and do everything. I did, however, come up with a ridiculous list of things for which I am thankful:
western toilets, flushing paper in said toilets, high speed internet, netflix and hulu on said high speed internet, drive thru food (although I don't really eat it, I appreciate the convenience factor), MY drink at Starbucks (the drinks are limited here), driving...
I know those are such silly things, but when you live somewhere that you can't have these things, you learn to appreciate the little things.

Now that I am back in China, life is a little different than before. Most of the kids I was attached to have been adopted. It is definitely a bittersweet feeling because they are exactly where I have prayed for them to be: in a forever family. Visiting with Henry back home was a huge blessings. I don't usually get to see the other side of it, life after Shepherd's Field. It gave me an even greater respect and admiration for the families who adopt, not just from here, but the orphans of the world. I am so grateful the Lord has given me the brief moment in time to be here with these beautiful children.

This year, Christmas is actually a little white. We had some snow fall last week and while it hasn't snowed since, it is so cold out that the snow won't melt. Most of it is more ice than snow now, but it is still white. I am hoping that I can Skype/FaceTime with my friends and family back home for the holiday, but if not, I want you all to know that I love you so dearly and miss you every minute. I look forward to our time together again in the spring. Until then, continue to pray for me, the children, and ShepField as a whole. We definitely feel the covering and pray for you in return.

Here are a few pictures of the last week or so:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One Year Later

A year ago when this blog was started, I thought, "Hey, this is a great way to keep people updated on my life while I'm away." However, as the months passed and the posts grew less and less, I guess we all figured out that I am not very good at this whole blogging thing. I'm going to give it another try.

A few weeks ago, my one year anniversary of coming to China occurred. October 4, 2012. That was the day I was supposed to say 谢谢 and 再见 but that isn't what happened. Just about everyone has been asking me the same question: What's your plan? So what is my plan? I don't have one. My new plan is to not have a plan. I am here now and that is all I know for now. The rest is for God to work out. When He tells me in His timing that I am done in China, I will leave, but until then, here I am and here I'll stay. With that said, I renew my prayer request for continued support while I am here, financially and spiritually. The financial is obvious, but the spiritual may be less obvious. It is easy to run dry when I am not being constantly fed. I know a good deal of that is feeding myself in the Word and prayer, but some of that is the lack of feeding from fellowship with the body. I miss being at church and being involved with my CCLW family. I definitely don't' feel as connected when I go to Beijing, but it is also harder to get involved because the church is not close. It is an hour or more in a taxi so we do not tend to get involved in extra activities outside of the regular Sunday service. One way I have increased fellowship at home is by learning guitar. My roommate has been teaching me which has been great. We play worship songs together almost every day and sometimes we have the other girls in the Inn come sing with us. I really enjoy this time with them.

Anyway, all this is to say, I am staying in China, I miss you all, and thank you for always supporting me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

MARCHing in the Snow

Sunday morning I woke up early to get ready for church. I was excited to get to the city and spend time fellowshipping because things have been a little busy lately and it has been a few weeks since I've been able to get to church. When I got out of the shower, Chrissy told me to look out the window. Our windows tend to fog up so I couldn't understand what I was looking at. I could see the sun shining through the fogginess, but she told me to look harder. I wiped the window like you would wipe the mirror in the bathroom after a steamy shower...

We didn't end up making it to the city for church, but it was a great day anyway. I was so excited to have our first real snow that stayed on the ground for more than five minutes.  I got to spend the morning with some cuties. I did end up working in the afternoon, but is it really work if you are hanging out with the cutest kids in the world while a group sings praise songs to/with them? Henry stole my sunglasses, but he was so adorable in them that I couldn't take them back.
too cool for school
The night was topped off with delicious chicken and dumpling soup as our meal for movie night. Next week we can try again to make it to church, but I'd say the Sunday I just had was pretty awesome.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Quick Update

It seems so much has happened and yet not much at all. This is the off season for us, not many visitors coming through the gates, yet I seem to find myself busier than ever. But, busy is a good thing. I enjoy making new acquaintances via email and helping them plan their trips. I like looking at the empty schedule sheet and filling it in to capacity. This summer is going to a crazy one with guests and interns, but it looks to be exciting. It will be a real test of just how much I have learned because for at least 2 months, I will be without the Bakers. However, in their absence, I will inherit a house, 2 dogs, and something like 8 turtles. Yes, I get to house sit all summer with Chrissy which will be a nice escape from the crazy at the end of each day. I am looking forward to riding a bike to and from work. I am looking forward to having a kitchen that is mine. But I am jumping a little too far ahead.... Before we even make it to the summer, I am heading back to California for sixteen days. I am so excited for this trip. I've already planned out my first few days of meals. Yes, I am planning my visit around food because there are some things I still can't get here. I will be home for Easter which will be nice because I will get to see a lot of family. I know my thoughts are scattered right now, but maybe a few photos will catch you all up on what has been happening this month.......

Viv is here and turned 17

I ate a lot

Henry is just as handsome as ever

Anabel Lee learned a new face

Stacey turned 22

Friday, January 20, 2012

Miracle Baby

Today our sweet Amity returned home after having emergency, life saving surgery at a hospital in Beijing. She still has a battle ahead of her in this very cold season, but we are trusting the Lord. He provides and cares for His children. What a blessing to see her so full of color and life! Continue to pray for her fragile heart...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thank you...

I usually write of the smiles and good times and post pictures of beautiful children, but it is not always smiles and good times and beauty. I just hit my three month mark, and while I didn't have the nightmares of the one month mark, it has definitely been the hardest milestone. The spiritual attack and spiritual dryness has been rampant. I can honestly say I have lost focus. I have forgotten why I am here. I have neglected quiet times and strayed from prayer. I have picked fights with those I love. And now here I am, standing in the new year, knee deep in realizations. I am looking forward now to a renewed spirit, to a deeper love, to a greater understanding. I share this because, you, my friends, you are my accountability. You are my prayer warriors. You are my brothers and sisters. Thank you for sticking by me all this time. Thank you for praying with me and for me. Thank you for loving me, especially when I make myself unlovable. Thank you.

Psalm 31:5 "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God."