Saturday, December 24, 2011

Maids In Hong Kong

This is the view out of my parents' kitchen window in Hong Kong.  As I was washing the dishes, I looked out the window and saw an ama washing dishes a few apartments down across from me.  In Hong Kong, house maids are called amas.  They are normally Filipina and are married.  They live with their employers and they get one day off a week - Sunday.  Today.  Christmas.

It's a small comfort for me that they get Christmas off, but why is this woman washing dishes with me?  I keep wondering what she's thinking.  Filipinos are mainly Roman Catholic, a legacy left by the Spanish.  Does she miss her family today, back in the Philippines?  Does she miss her children?  When was the last time they saw her?  Whose dishes is she washing and does she wish that she was washing her own?

I've been thinking about Jesus too.  Jesus and this woman washing dishes across from me.  A small baby who will one day pick up the scroll and declare good news for the poor and say that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand.  What does this mean for her?  What does it mean for us?

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.
-Isaiah 61:1-3

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Prayer Request

My friends just had their baby Lucas.  The day before they brought him home, the doctor's found a heart defect. He was supposed to have heart surgery today, but now they have postponed the surgery because his kidneys are not working correctly. Surgery is now postponed until Monday. Could you please pray for him? 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Goals For 2012

I don't know if I want to have resolutions - those are always so easily dismissed.  But I do have goals.  I have things that I would like to do in 2012 or start.  Maybe.

Here are my goals for 2012: 
1) Learn how to ride a motorcyle and get my motorcycle license.
2) Take ballroom dancing lessons with Steve.
3) Get better with Final Cut/Illustrator/Photoshop
4) Get back to El Salvador 
(if I can. If I can't, send a pocket camera with the delegation and work on another video)
5) Learn Spanish 
6) Donate my hair to Locks of Love and then shave it off again.

 Do you have anything that you want to accomplish in the year 2012?

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Scientists In Japan" by Sara Groves

I really like this song by Sara Groves and I think it's important to hear the reason she wrote it.  It's very true - these things do effect us, whether or not we realize it.

You can download her song on iTunes or on her website.  I've been thinking about life support and what that means (we drew up our wills about a year ago) and I think one of my favorite lines in the song is, "We're robbing from Peter to extend Paul's life, cause dying ain't no way to die."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cookie Sale!

Here are some pictures of things that I made and had help with for our cookie sale.  All the proceeds from the cookie sale went to help our food ministries at Advent.

I would also like to point out that my husband made the Hannukah blue and white cake pops entirely by himself.  He will claim that I tricked him into this.  I did not.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Forever and ever! Amen

I know.  It's been awhile.  There is so much to talk about!  I just finished an amazing book about joy, humor and laughter in the spiritual life and would love to talk about it!  But I've been sick and I've got a cookie decorating party tomorrow as well as giving a message about giving for our young adult service.  I'd love to tell you what I'm hoping to give Jesus for Christmas, the countdown until I see my family for Christmas and all the Christmas cards that I SWEAR I might write.  I could tell you how my boss might give me a promotion and what I want to accomplish in 2012!  How I'm feeling like God doesn't just love me, but He LIKES me too!  How music makes me want to dance and how I have one of the best husbands ever, even though I thought he was a stranger who came to murder me last night and I locked him out of the apartment.  He got me a surprise Christmas tree!  How it lifted my spirits.  But instead, I'll leave you with a picture and with a song.

Hopefully, hopefully we can talk soon. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thou knowest better than I myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to
straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody;
helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom,
it seems a pity not to use it all;
but Thou knowest, Lord,
that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains;
they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person
is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places
and talents in unexpected people;
and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
- – - prayer by St. Teresa of Avila