Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I have not forgotten you.

Here is my to-do list for today, December 24th, Christmas Eve.

Get up at 5AM – pray
Make breakfast
Wash clothes (washing machine on the fritz – don’t ask)
Make lunch
10AM – have 30 children from our children’s home over to distribute their gifts.
Feed them snacks.
Staple some net onto a costume (faster than sewing)
Go to school for dance practice and skit practice
Come home, teach 3 friends how to make zucchini bread
(possibly get a pedicure???)
Pick up 2 dresses from tailor – wrap them
Get one last gift for a guest – wrap it (pos give this resp. to O.)
6PM be at church for gift exchange program – FUN.

Come home eat something (pos. make something to eat…)
Clean house for 9 guests arriving at the crack of dawn Christmas morning.

This is all I can remember – but my days generally look like this.

Throw in 4 small children and well… Talk to you in the new year…

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Nat's Going Home

My dear niece Natalie will be heading back to the US tomorrow night and we are down to our last day with her in our home.
It has been such a huge blessing to have her here and part of our (Indian) family for the last several months. It is going to be sad and strange around here without her.

I am thankful for the months God gave me with her and the connection she is for me to my Arizona family. I am privileged to see the beautiful work that God has been doing in her life over the last months. And I am excited to see what He is going to do in her future. It is going to be wonderful.

Goodbye sweet Nat, (Map Didi), we're going to miss you so much.

I am so proud of you.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Groundbreaking At The Karuna Children's Home Land

(I am most definitely suited for indoors work...)

The cleared off section is the land that we officially purchased on Saturday Dec. 4th for the Karuna Children's Home project. We held church there on Sunday.

Nat's Birthday With Everyone

At church on Sunday Natalie shared a small testimony and we had a cake for her.

Putting the cake together
Feeding the cake

Map Didi's Birthday (#1)

My niece Natalie's first birthday celebration on Saturday. Hosted by her good friends. I didn't even bother decorating my house after this extravaganza...
B Happy
The cousins
Birthday Showers

HB Pictures from E.'s 10th (Late!)

The Happy Birthday girl (November 18th) . Face Painting courtesy of Natalie...
C. with her best friend, Angel.
P.'s face was painted by her sister. Sitting on the flower pot eating candy.
We had a "Fair" -like theme. Lots of various games. Even the adults partook.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tha Cat Is Back

You may remember the cat who ate my lovebirds (snif). Apparently he is back. The following is a picture gallery of what I found in my guest bedroom this morning. I tried to upload a video but it wasn't working.

It will add to the ambiance if you mentally play the Psycho music in your head. Ehn Ehn Ehn Ehn

Poor Pigeon

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Wonder If God Ever Gets Tired Of Hearing My Name?

I wonder if God ever gets tired of hearing my name?

If it were possible I think he'd be feeling it over this past week. It's been an amazing week where I feel like everyone's been ringing God's doorbell with requests for me.

I've wept. I've broken down in tears in front of my students. I have young and old, counseling me, comforting me and praying over me.

It's Thanksgiving Week and I am so THANKFUL for the prayers of beloved friends who have helped me to not just hang on this past week, but to press on.

Lord, I know you never get tired of hearing my name.
You love me.


I'll be in Delhi from Monday til Saturday taking classes for my MA correspondence course in "Christian Management" Yep, I'll be there alone (meaning without knowing anyone.) Yep, I'll be there over Thanksgiving. (Not a big deal, but since Natalie is here, I feel bad leaving her...)

Today will be the last gut spilling for a while I guess.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Seed - 17 Years Later

I have in my possession three journals that I wrote during 1993-94 while I was studying for 11 months in Israel. It was the most amazing time of my life and a year of growth for me in every way (except physical - I lost 40 lbs).

I recently gave these journals to my niece Natalie to read while she is staying with me.

Here's where it gets weird:

Last week when I was going through some really hard times I had one prayer in my heart. As I was forced to wait through a very stressful situation I prayed that God would make me like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they were in the fiery furnace. It is all I prayed. It is all I could pray at that time.

A couple days ago Natalie came to me and said, I want to show you something you wrote in your journal, almost to this exact date, 17 years ago.

"November 15, 1993

How I've been feeling lately: God is working on me. He has given me a very strong desire to be righteous - holy, I want this more than anything.

He has also been teaching me about Faith. For some reason I really wanted to read Daniel. So I started this morning and am still reading. 2 passages have really stood out to me.

1) Hananiah, Azariah and Mishiel in the fiery furnace. Their faith in God astounds me! I mean the fact that they went to the furnace in the 1st place is amazing enough but it goes beyond that.

I can honestly say that I would die for the Lord if it came down to it. But, in my case, if I were on my way to the furnace, I would just be resigning myself to die. But for H, A, and M it was different, they had complete confidence that God would protect them. There was no doubt in their mind!...

If only I could have that kind of faith! To know God will succeed. If only I keep my eyes on Him and walk according to His will, I can accomplish everything!"

Well, my first thought when Natalie showed me this portion of my OWN 20 year old self's journal I was appalled that I appear to be in the same place I was in 17 years ago. But after a moment I realized it was not that at all.

It was the seed that God planted in 20year old Rebecca 17 years ago in 1993 that took bloom in my life on a heartbreaking night in November 2010.

*ps - my spelling has NOT improved in 17 years.

My Carrot Dream

Two nights ago I had some dreams. The first one I can't really remember but it took place on a boat and it was all about betrayal.

After that dream I had another dream that is still vivid in my mind. For real (i.e. not in the dream) I have carrots growing in my garden. I'm not really sure when to pull them up, I'm such a black thumb... See picture below of real carrot garden.
In my dream I went to the carrots in the garden and I dug one up out of the dirt. I grabbed it by the green top and pulled out one carrot. Attached to the bottom of the one carrot were bunches of other carrots. They were deeper in the ground under the first, single carrot but I didn't have to dig to get them out. They were in an already dug out, perfectly round hole. I just lifted them out.

Totally unrelated to the above post:
Below is a picture of my Banana Tree. It's huge and covered in cement from the construction on the house next door. Still has not given me any fruit, BUT there are now four smaller banana trees growing up from the ground around it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Came To The End Of Myself

There came a point on Tuesday when I reached the end of myself. Have you ever been there? That place where going forward is just not possible and the only direction you know where to go is Back.

You think about going Back. You comfort yourself with the idea of Back.

Then somewhere along the way some dear friend sends you an email and snuggled within it is this nugget:

So when we get to the end of ourselves, he will move.

So when we get to the end of ourselves, he will move.

So when we get to the end of ourselves, he will move.

So when we get to the end of ourselves, he will move.

Man, I held on to that promise on Tuesday. I thought of nothing else. I even stopped thinking about Back. I just told Him, "Here I am at the end. There is nowhere for me to go from here."

That's when he did a miracle. In front of my eyes a heart was changed, transformed. A set mind was turned. And I knew, I knew, there was a hand holding on to me and leading me forward.

He showed me, I didn't need to go Back, He was going to take me forward.

How Firm Is My Foundation?

How Firm Is My Foundation?
I've had first hand knowledge of the firmness of my foundation this week. On Monday night I was shaken when in one blow I lost three things that I would consider vitally important to me and my journey on this earth.

No, I didn't lose the life of any loved ones but I lost three relationships in one fell blow. I was shaken.

I was shaken. Like a house shakes when the wind blows hard. But I didn't fall down. I confessed to one person that the fact that I walking, talking, living and breathing was all by God's grace. And prayer.

Not necessarily my own prayer, but the prayers of others who held up my "house," this earthy and spiritual vessel, while the winds blew.

The winds continue to blow, not as violently as they did that bad day or two but I'm still shaking.

Yet I am thankful for the winds, for when the winds blow, then we are held.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

God gave me back two of the relationships that were momentarily lost.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Luke 9

I feel like the last months have been times of me needing to make big decisions in my personal life. Keeping silent for times about things I'd rather shout about. Speaking the truth in really hard circumstances. I feel in need of massive amounts of wisdom and discernment that I do not yet have.

I admit I was kind of fed up with God this morning about once again being in this position and then this was my daily portion in the Word:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"

Ha ha God, I still never think it's funny when you do that, but I do appreciate you speaking to me so clearly - Rebecca

Update On John And Jennifer

O-Kay, not a great picture of John and Jennifer, but the best I could do on short notice.

Last Monday night we were at the Memorial Service for their daughter Sarah who died on October 30th. It's been about 10 days and they are doing well. I was most impressed by John's strength during this time and his faith.

He gave about a 20 minute testimony last week and shared that he thanked God for extending baby Sarah's life through the two hours that the doctor gave her to live til the next afternoon. He shared that he was so glad that everyone got to see her one last time before she went to be with the Lord.

I had never even considered that...

The Circus Is In Town

We all went to the Indian Circus last night. I tell you, you get a good three hours of weirdness for your $2 bucks.

  • Really flexible people, they do some incredible stuff
  • Climbing people: they climb Anything and swing by hands, feet and teeth. No safety ropes!


  • Regurgitating Man. Drinks massive amounts of water and regurgitates them. It's really nasty when he swallows fish and regurgitates them too. (At least 1 of the 4 came back up...) Yeah, I wanted to hurl.
  • Elephants. (He needed a pair of underpants or a wife or something...)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

G.'s Prayer

Today my 3 1/2 year old, G. was with me in bed. She said, "Are you talking to Jesus?" I said "Yes." She said, "O-Kay." Then I said, "Do you want to talk to Jesus?" She said, "Yes."

I figured she needed some help so I started for her...

Me: Dear Jesus, Goodnight.
G: Dear Jesus, Goodnight.

Me: I love you.
G: I love you.

Me: (ready to close at this time with an "amen.")
G: (on her own) I am beautiful.

Me: Amen.
G: Amen.

I figure God already knows that since he made her that way, but I guess she wanted to remind him...

New Look

I've changed my blog color. Can you believe it?!!! Still getting used to it. May change back. Feel free to comment.

Yes, I need to adjust the "About Me" section.

Fulfilling My Promise To Spill My Guts

In this blog post I will share two pictures from the funeral on Saturday. Yes, in India it is common and almost required to take pictures of the deceased and the funeral. I despise this practice but here are my thoughts on it as written in a previous post on the subject :

These are VERY sad pictures. If people in mourning at a grave site disturbs you - Do Not View the following pictures. You have been warned.

John (dad) at Sarah's grave.
Jennifer (mom) squatting by Sarah's grave.


Yesterday I wanted to upload these pictures along with the previous post but my picture loading and spell check was not working for some reason...

What P. (the 19 month old) did while I was writing my post.
Baby Sarah when she was born - still don't know why it is crooked.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Not So Interested In Writing The Bad

I don't know if I am not so interested in writing the bad because it is bad or because I have a 19 month old child smacking me on the leg with a toothbrush. I may just possibly be - distracted.

Yet, I am the thankful-ist monther in the world today to have a 19 month old to smack me, climb on me and distract me from my work.

On Friday night I prayed for the 6 week old baby girl of our staff members, John and Jennifer. Their daughter Sarah was in ICU and was given 2 hours to live. We prayed. Oh how we prayed and I told God "I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO A FUNERAL TOMORROW."

I won't hold you in suspense. We buried sweet baby Sarah on Saturday afternoon. They wrapped her little body in white cloth and her mother and father looked at her for the last time as our pastor's wife held the baby in her arms. I took the corner of the cloth and covered Sarah's face and then they gently laid her in the grave. I was so upset, she didn't even have a coffin.

Sarah made it past those 2 hours she was given by the doctor. She rallied in the night and I received a call from her joyful father on Saturday morning that she was much better. She was taken for an EKG and it was discovered that there was a very small hole in her heart. She was brought back to the hospital and died soon afterwards.

We cleared out the hospital room - they rush you right out of there - and took the baby home to be washed and dressed. I, and some other ladies stayed with mom in the church.

At one point she cried out, "I just want to hold her!" And I thought, the last time she held her baby in her arms she had no idea it would be the last.

How precious is every moment that God give us with our loved ones...

For my niece, Natalie's perspective:

The Good Or The Bad...

I'm sitting here contemplating where to begin. I've been blogging in my head lately, if you hadn't noticed. It isn't really all my head's fault - I was away for five days and when I was around my Internet was on the fritz.

But I am back! And more determined than ever to be a better communicator and to Spill My Guts.

Now the debate is whether to start with the good or the bad.

I like good news first, so here goes. Last week I spent a wonderful four days - without family* - in beautiful Goa. I was part of a women's retreat and what a retreat it was. The purpose of it was to just LOVE on us. Fifty women attended, twenty-five women flew over from the US to serve us and love on us.

I feel like my tank got filled up and not just a little bit. Our speaker was Sue Eenigenburg, the author of Screams in the Desert.I LOVE the name of this book. She was a fantastic speaker and so funny. Spoke right on our level. I think my favorite line of hers was... "One day due to power outages and lack of water, it took me ten hours to finish one load of wash. - I could have flown to Paris in nine." That still cracks me up.
I myself was blessed and blessed again and what a pleasure it was to see other women just transformed before my eyes. God moved mightily in our lives. Thank you to those who blessed me with this wonderful gift.
* Not even a single child screaming "Mommy" at me for Four Whole Days

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blame It On The Faulty Internet

I was in the mood for some gut spilling a few days ago but my Internet was down. Sadly, I cannot even remember what I was going to write.

Do you see what I'm dealing with here? The kids (and life) just suck it all out of me...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spilling Guts

My dad was talking about his granddaughter, my niece, the other week and referred to her writings on her wonderful blog* as "spilling her guts."

He loved it and I love it too. It made me think that I haven't spilled my guts on here in a long long time. I think it's lack of time. Spilling ye old guts takes a tole, time-wise and emotionally. I have four daughters, I deal with emotion All Day Long.

I have, however, resolved to start spilling. I can do this. I will find the time. You, my faithful (8) readers, deserve some guts.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Moment Captured In My Brain. Forever.

On Sunday I was singing on the worship team and I looked out at the congregation and there was my C. singing her heart out to the Lord, eyes closed, swaying slightly. The image was made all the more precious by a very prominent missing front tooth.
Never going to forget it.


The long promised picture of my students in their uniforms is here. These are the First Year (new) students. (My niece, Natalie, on the far right)

Blogging - Last On My List

These days my list of things to do is REALLY long. Ssdly, blogging is near the end. Hence - til my life and load lightens up - I apologize for not being around.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Story of My Own: "How do I surprise someone with pancakes who wakes...

Here is a little more on my birthday from my niece Natalie's blog. She is an everyday gift to me. :)

A Story of My Own: "How do I surprise someone with pancakes who wakes...: "So today was probably my favorite day in India so far.:) I got to celebrate the life of my hero with what felt like the entire city of Bhar..."

September Is Almost OVER

September is almost over and well, it's a busy month! BUT I did need to get back to how my birthday celebration went - since I promised.

Really. Thank you Lord.
Very loud poppers at the cake cutting - notice G. and me covering our ears.
I was fed loads of cake - I think there were a total of FOUR cakes for me.
We had so much fun playing games all night. We just laughed and laughed. One friend told me she got her smile back that night. Another man said that after the party he sat outside his house for an hour and a half and just laughed.
So much FUN!
This is what happened to my girls when the party was over - I pretty much felt that way too, except I spent about an hour laying in bed laughing to myself about ridiculous happenings that night.
I loved all the phone calls and I especially loved visiting our Bible College and Karuna kids and having them extend their hand toward me and pray for me. I love those kids praying for me. I am blessed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

OK I Entered A Contest

Next post is my entry. Don't be totally confused. I'll' let you know if I win.

The Burning Hearts Revolution: BOOKS I LOVE: Win a copy of The Princess Bride by ...

The Burning Hearts Revolution: BOOKS I LOVE: Win a copy of The Princess Bride by ...: " 'Wait a minute... wait a minute... is this a kissing book?' I am going to give away a copy of The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I l..."

O-Kay, Matt - this gives me two!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shhhh It's Coming Again Tomorrow

It's that birthday time of the year around here once again. If you're a regular on atld you know it's my least fav. time of the year.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Map In India

If you don't already know, my niece, Natalie (a.k.a. "Map") is staying with us for about 6 months. She's a great blogger - and much more profuse than her aunt these days!

When They Knew How To Make Windows

City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Come on, I mean - Look at the view!

Land In Rajasthan

The stepped land in these pictures was a rocky, hilly piece of worthless land that belonged to O.'s family. Over the last year we've been clearing it off, leveling it out and putting up a wall. All this in the hopes of one day starting a Hindi Bible College here and a medical clinic...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Newest Member

Sadly I cannot get this picture to attach in the right direction, but if I could you would certainly see that this is possibly the most beautiful baby ever created and also the newest member of our FC (ministry) family.

Congratulations John and Jenny! Baby (not yet named) born on Sept. 15, 2010.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bug In My Ear

I laid down on my bed last night and heard this weird squeaking in my ear. At first I thought it was the pillow, but then I could feel something moving - inside my head.

It was weird, somewhat uncomfortable and just plain icky.

I finally put some cooking oil in my ear, let it soak in and then turned my ear outward toward a towel on a pillow and watched the end of Memoirs of a Geisha (hey not much on at 1:30AM - esp. when you only have about 10 English channels...)

The fluttering eventually stopped and I went to bed. I guess the bug may still be in there - as long as he's not moving, I'm happy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Somewhat Unfair

Here are two entry tickets from our visit to the Taj Mahal this week. The yellow one is mine and the orange one is Natalie's.

Hmmm, what is different?
Got it? Yep, the price of the tickets. The yellow one (mine) has the cost in the lower right hand corner - 20 rupees. Natalie's - 750 rupees.

I think the money I saved on my ticket by being a "Person of Indian Origin: (Married to an Indian citizen) was about the same as it cost me to become a PIO.