Sunday, May 31, 2009


Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


You know, over the past 10 years or so, I've been around a lot of negativity. I really didn't think I was a person who got swept up in my surroundings, but I'm finding now, with a little 20/20 hindsight, that I am. Not to the point of letting things ruin my days too much, but more along the lines of allowing negativity to steal some moments. I've been in a situation where there has been a ton of competitiveness, and people wanting to take my husband and my ministry down or see it fail...for various reasons. You would think it would be the opposite, since we were working to bring the Gospel to a place that had never heard it before, but opposition is strong, and Satan had plenty to work with in terms of natural man: ambition, jealousy, envy, strife.

But there have been a few who have been encouragers. People who knew that we, as a family, were doing a very tough thing, and were there for us with encouraging words and actions. I've looked back over some letters and emails over the past 10 years, and I have to say that the people who were encouraging then are still encouraging now. It's their spiritual gift, I think. When they see a good job, they say it. When they sense a down moment or time, they send their "atta boy's" our way. They just always had a sense of how we were doing, when we might have a particularly difficult time (holidays and such) and made sure we knew they were thinking of us.

I am extremely grateful for all of my/our encouragers....or Barnabases. :) We have been lucky to have so many in our lives, and I just want you all to know you've been used of God when you have let us know you care. He knew what we needed and when, and you listened.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mornings Like These....

You know, lately the days have been fairly crazy. We're usually running here and there, managing schedules, getting people to places they need to's hectic. So I've been lax in just stopping and watching the world around me. Mainly because it's just my house that I've had to watch.....I haven't really been anywhere else.

But this morning was one of just taking things in. Getting up slowly, waking up the boys for school, enjoying our morning routine. It was a morning of just enjoying who we are as a family and where we are at this point and time.

Timo doesn't like to talk in the mornings. I know he's awake by squeezing his big toe or patting him on the leg. If his eyes twitch, he's up. But this morning, I got a little extra. "I'm hungry. Can we have biscuits this morning," was his greeting. Ah, the teen years.

Bubs has to have a hug first thing in the morning. He's on the top bunk, so it's easy. He usually has something funny to share, too. His crazy dreams are shared, or he gives a little info about the coming day, but he's a little more talkative and always witty. First thing in the morning. I don't know how he does it.

San usually sticks up a hand indicating a 5, meaning he wants five more minutes to sleep in. I sat on the edge of his bed, and he said, "I thought you were the dog in my dream!" Thanks San. He laughs.

I went to my computer and put on the Levi song. You know, from the Levi commercial in the 70's: "Good mornin' world. Good morning to you, yoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo, I'ma wearin' my levis, leehee hee hee hee e vies." Out of bed they came.

Works every time.

Em, however, remained in her cave. :) No need to get up early when you have a 10 o'clock class. was a nice morning.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Stuff I've Loved About This Year

I see I've been conditioned to think about years in terms of school years. Since the end of the school year is coming, it has had me thinking of what this year has been like. This is what I've loved about this year:

Em driving. Scary, but exciting, too.

College. She's doing so great in college. She actually got a scholarship that reimbursed her tuition for the entire year! It was based on grades, so we didn't find out about it until mid-year, but that tuition reimbursement was nice for her. She's got next year's schooling paid for now!

Baseball. It's been great getting into it, and by association, into the community here. We've made some good friends through baseball, and we enjoy sitting and talking during the games.

Weather. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have blue sky, with huge, billowy, 3-D clouds floating by. It's something we've missed for so long! We catch ourselves just looking at the sky in wonderment. And the sunsets are amazing. We also have been re-introduced to Texas electric thunderstorms, with lightening that streaks across the sky. It makes for fun light shows, as long as there's a safe place to sit.

Lawn. We have a lawn to take care of, and that has been something we've missed. T and I love to get our hands dirty and work outdoors, and we haven't been able to for far too long. No lawns in Taiwan. At least where we live. We even love the dandelions, Craver!! ha!

Sonic. Half price Happy Hour has replaced the teas we miss from Taiwan. They are completely different drinks, but at least they are priced about the same.

Sidewalks. I can't tell you how good it is to walk down a poop-free sidewalk. Even after almost a year, it still is exciting to be able to do that.

Texas manners. *sigh* I never realize how much I miss this part of living here until I'm back. People waving at each other as they pass each other on the road, men tipping their hats and saying, "Morning, Ma'am" and opening doors for me, even kids in school saying "Yes ma'am, no ma'am." I just want to close my eyes and take it all in, but that's bad when you're walking into a building and someone is holding the door for you. It's not that things are being done FOR me, it's just the courtesies that are part of living here. I've missed it a lot.

Friday Nights. Friday Nights really are big nights in small Texas towns. Football games, baseball's real community time, and a time to come together as a town and root for our home team. I love it.

Music. I've enjoyed the 70's and 80's channels, actually. It's fun, because that music many times brings me back to a moment in time from those days. I love how music does that. I found a music site online that played Raffi songs, and I played them for our kiddos. You should have heard them talk about times they remembered, and some of those memories have absolutely nothing with the topic of the song: Our green car from back then, the pink house, someone who slept over.... it just made them think of those days.

Family. Having free long distance has enabled us to call Florida and speak to the Hughes' and Hotchkiss' any time we feel the need. That's nice. And, living close to my family means a quick trip to the Ledbetters, visiting with extended family, spending holidays with them for the first time in ages.

It's been a good year.