Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Gong xi fa cai! A traditional Chinese greeting during the Chinese New Year wishing you good luck and prosperity. Enjoy some pictures of our Chinese New Year celebrations.
Lion Dancer
Dayna and the other kids were excited to talk to the dancers before they put the lion costume on

Beautiful, beautiful girl!

Dayna and her friend Isabel

Levi, Isabel and Dayna

Dayna's feet are the ones in black tights and "clacky shoes"

Dayna and her buddy, Eli

Forever friends!

Wilson family

Dayna and her doll "Dong Ling" - Dong Ling is the name of the nanny who found Dayna; she is a favorite of all the children adopted from Gutian.

Ever Had that Feeling?

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is praying for you? You know, I woke up this morning, feeling like I should still be upset, but the more I thought about the situation, the less I could recall. It's not that I've forgotten the hurtful words, but I just sense that someone has been praying that my heart would be protected.

So whoever you are, thank you :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

He Really Didn't Get It...

I wonder how you can spend three years walking with Christ, hearing His teaching firsthand, having Him wash your feet and perform signs and miracles before your eyes...and still not get that He's the promised Messiah...God Himself wrapped up in flesh.

But the coldness of Judas' heart was no surprise to Jesus.

I've been deeply hurt by a woman I've got to know this year. A woman I have spent a lot of time praying for. Without going into details, the woman has had unkind things to say to me, and had her final parting words with me today. The timing was bad, the words were terrible, and I'm having a hard time shaking it. I know that I'm not the one responsible, I'm simply the one who's here. Then I look at eleven other ladies who deeply care for each other and "get it." They understand community and iron sharpening iron. They invest in each other and they care about me.

I don't want to compare the one woman to Judas, (nor do I want to compare myself to Jesus), but I can't help but ponder that while Judas didn't really "get it," Jesus understands completely how I feel right now.

Don't know if any of this makes sense...maybe that's the state of my mind and heart right now.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Can See the Light...

My crazy February is almost at an end. I just need to get through one more busy weekend (Saturday, really...nonstop from when I get up at 5am until I retire around 11pm). Here's to March, and maybe a little bit of sleep!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peace in Action

I presided over another professional workshop this morning. In true fashion, just like our last workshop (click here for a reminder), this one has created a lot of stress. Each board member was supposed to come up with an idea and fill out an information sheet for me with all the info I would need to buy supplies, etc. Well, one person can't make it, so she didn't come up with an idea. Another decided to drop from the board. A third couldn't make it, gave me an idea, but can I make up the sample? Another had the idea but couldn't make her copies. Yet another was concerned that she wouldn't be able to get all the prep work done in time today.

Then Dan's car broke down. He took my car yesterday, leaving me stuck, at home. There was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I could do about the workshop. Well, there was one thing I could do...I prayed. I picked up a dischloth and started scrubbing counters, and I prayed. I unloaded the dishwasher and I prayed. I swept the floor and I prayed. I wiped down the sink and I prayed. Before I knew it, I had an overwhelming sense of peace (and a very clean kitchen). The conflict wasn't gone, but I knew the Lord was with me, and it was all under control.

The workshop seemed to be going well this morning, and we're doing it again next weekend in Central Nebraska. Our chapter looks to make a nice profit from the workshop, and I'm starting to relax a bit.

I'm so glad I have a God who will remind me that He is waiting to give me perfect peace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reflections on Peace

I actually started this post last summer, but it was becoming so long that I set it to the side. These thoughts have reared themselves up again this week, so here I go again.

I detest this sign. It actually makes my skin crawl. My father (an American hero...US Marine and Vietnam Veteran) finds offense at this symbol (as do many, many others.) And it's everywhere. I can't shop at Old Navy, Target, Wal-Mart or Children's Place for my daughter without finding clothes plastered with this symbol. Every day at school, at least half of the girls in any given class are sporting the peace symbol somewhere on their clothes.
I get it. The world is looking for peace. But peace is not the absence of conflict, it's the presence of God. Let me say that again: PEACE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF CONFLICT, IT'S THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
But Satan, that great deceiver, is trying to get people to settle for false peace. The apparent peace that comes from the absence of conflict. That's why this symbol is everywhere.
The night before His crucifixion, Jesus had His last heart-to-heart talk with His disciples. Read John 14-16 to catch a glimpse of Christ's heart. But one of the most precious promises He makes is found in chapter 14, verse 27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Jesus does not promise that all of their conflict will be over. He does promise to give them the same peace that has allowed Him to continue to do His Father's will, even in the face of opposition, death threats, and His pending crucifixion.
I guess the thing that makes me so disturbed by the presence of the peace symbol everywhere is knowing that the peace that's offered by that symbol is so imperfect. It's so shallow and empty, and we have a world getting sucked in to the empty promises it offers.
On sharing these thoughts the other day with other Christians, I was surprised to find how many of them (who also proudly sport the peace symbol) think it's a great thing. They view it as an opportunity to open doors of conversation. I see their point, but let me offer a few of my own:
1. If our veterans are highly offended by this symbol, and you claim to support our troops, why wear it?
2. (and maybe my bigger point) There is a lot of evidence that the origins of the peace symbol (and it's use through the ages) are very anti-Christian (and possibly Satanic). During Nero's reign, many Christians were crucified upside down (tradition tells us this is how the Apostle Peter was martyred). The peace sign is an upside-down broken cross. I found this information at PEACE SYMBOL or a BROKEN UPSIDE-DOWN CROSS: Like many simple symbols, it meant different things at different times. Some call it Nero's cross, linking it to the notorious Roman emperor who persecuted Christians. Centuries later, it was recognized as an old Norse Rune. After WW2 (1939-1945), it was found on the tombstones of some of Hitler's SS troops and labeled 'The Dead Man Rune.' Revived in the sixties by hippies and others who protested nuclear weapons, Western culture, and Christian values, it became a worldwide symbol of a new age of global peace and earth-centered unity. But many heavy metal rock fans would agree with Nero and have used it to mock Christ and His followers.
Even if there was little to support this (but I believe there is), the very fact that this symbol could be anti-Christian makes me wonder why so many Christians would choose to wear it. It's obviously a stumbling block to many, and I believe misleads those who haven't yet experienced perfect peace through Christ.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm not Ready...

Kindergarten parent meeting starts in one hour...where did time go? I don't want to be the parent who cries on the first day of school, but I'm starting to miss my little girl already...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hope For Children

We started a blog for our church's orphan/foster care ministry. Feel free to check it out at:

Happy Birthday (a little late)

Yesterday was an exciting milestone for Dayna. One year ago, on Feb. 8, 2009, Dayna asked Jesus to live in her heart. It's been so awesome to see God molding her heart and developing her character in the last year. He's definitely got a hold on her little life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We're trying to decide what to do with me in August. Dayna will be starting Kindergarten (*sniff*). Should I stay working 3 days a week, should I up it to 4, should I go full-time? Of course, my preference would be to stay at 3 days a week, and still be available to sub. Dan is leaning toward 4 and we can put the extra money aside for a little brother or sister for Dayna. Ultimately, I will wholeheartedly endorse whatever Dan decides.

Here are some of my fears: I have different priorities than before Dayna. I don't want to come home from work exhausted all the time and not be able to be the Mom I should be. I have a lot of extra commitments I've been able to take on since going part-time (discussion leader at Bible study, president of PSKOR {state chapter of a music education organization}...) I still want to be able to be fully committed to these things.

So, I'm now trying to lay these fears at the foot of the throne and pray that God will make it abundantly clear to us what I should be doing in the fall. Thanks for praying with me.