Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Woman's Day!

I am sitting here folding laundry pondering some of the comments... pictures... and conversations today and I know if I don't get it out of my system... me nor my husband will get a sound night's sleep.

These are my two cents... take it or leave it.  Just my opinion and for the last year or so... I officially live in a country that I have the freedom of speech.

I am feminine... not a feminist! I want to be known by my love, kindness, and compassion towards others.  I am a nurturer and a care taker.  I balance out my husband... and he balances me out.  I want to show respect towards others and I want that reciprocated.  I want to work hard for an honest day's wages.  I want to be able to express my voice and have others listen with respect rather than shouting that I am wrong.  I want to use my gifts and talents that are unique to me instead of getting shoved into the cookie cutter of the "social norm".

In this thing called life that we walk through on a daily basis... screams of equality between the sexes are everywhere. ... but there are just certain things that aren't "equal".  I can do something that my husband can't do... I can carry a precious life in my womb and produce a living breathing brand new creation... but I can't do it all on my own... I need my husband!

We were created to balance one another out.  I have done this thing called life "independently" for more years than I care to count... can I do life on my own???  Yes I can!  However on this side of marriage I do have to say I enjoy doing this thing called life with a man who gets me for me and loves me anyway. I love having another person that looks out for me... and I look out for him.  And yes... I love how he holds the door open for not just me but any woman walking in or out of the building.  It hurts my heart when his kindness is repaid with disrespectful looks or comments of "I can do it on my own."

My aunt posted this picture of a dear lady in the village where I lived for almost a year in Uganda.  It reminded me out blessed we are to live in the US of A... where we have many opportunities and freedoms that women elsewhere do not have. These women are up with the sun tending to their families... washing clothes by hand... growing and harvesting their food... and then doing all of their cooking over a small camp fire.  They put their babies to sleep on dirt floors and when their day is done... they curl up on a hand woven mat beside their little ones to rest up for another day of survival.  These are some of the happiest, most joyful women I have met... who have a song on their lips and a smile on their face.

Our issues of equality and feminist qualities are first world issues.  We need to use our individual gifts and talents to serve one another in love.  We need to use our freedoms to be an advocate for that child without a voice... to use our resources to provide for that family that is struggling to put food on the table... to use our voice to stand up to injustice to women around the world (and in our own communities)... to try to create a world that we want our sons and daughters... nieces and nephews...growing up in.

I am proud that I am a woman and I am blessed to have many women in my life that have spent time and energy investing in me to make me a better woman!  Thank you to all the women that use their gifts and talents to make an impact on the world around them!!!  YOU ARE APPRECIATED... not just today but everyday!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A new season

It has been a while since writing on this blog... partly because I have started a new season in my life and we started a blog together to follow our adventures...

Feel free to catch up at... http://justinandangelasawesomeadventure.blogspot.com

Back to the moment at hand... because of the day it is (Fat Tuesday) and the fact that I had some extra time this afternoon to work in my new office/craft room... it got me thinking...

This is normally the season where people give up something for lent.  I understand the thought process behind this that whatever you give up should make room for you to ponder on the upcoming season and what Jesus has done for you.

Instead of giving something up for the next 40 days... I propose to give of my time, talents, and treasure for the next 40 days.  To do what we are called to do in the Bible... to be HIS hands and feet... to love others... to encourage... to come along side...to show others what He has truly done in our lives instead of what normally happens during this time when people give up... say caffeine... or something that makes them normally more agreeable on a daily basis.

Would the God of the universe desire that you are horrible to people while giving up something to focus more on HIM???  Just a thought!

What would happen if each of us did one random act of kindness... or said one encouraging word... or gave one hug... or provided one meal... or gave up one mocha on the run to sit down and chat with a friend?

I have been encouraged by my husband who is always looking out for how to help those around him... He is the reason I have an office/craft room at the moment as he cleaned out a spare bedroom while I was out on Sunday and set up my office space!  I have watched his kindness and care towards strangers and friends alike and have been inspired to look outside my own little bubble.  

So for the next 40 days... my goal is to use the resources God has blessed me with to bless others.  I may not track much but #blessedtobless.  I encourage you to see how you can bless those around you!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Things done and yet to do...

One of the greatest stress relievers in my life is to be creative!  Since taking this new job as director... it definitely comes with more stress but a bigger staff to dote upon regularly. 

Candy bouquet for staff appreciation week

with the label "You were MINT to be a teacher"


Something else I throughly enjoy is organizing and cleaning... pinterest has been a great help with ideas of how to organize all of the supplies in my office!




 In May I joined a group of ladies from church to work on pillowcase dresses to help those less fortunate.  They were fun and easy to make and it gave me a great opportunity to meet new friends.


I can't dote on everyone else and forget about the amazing man in my life that I get to spend our date nights cooking with and trying out new recipes!


These are some ideas that we have picked out while looking through model homes, art festivals, and home stores for furnishings!  So ready to try some of these ideas!!!


Last but not least... end of the year goodies for my staff that I have recently put together to say thank you and enjoy your summer!




Out of body transition


It has been 6 months since starting a "new" life back stateside.  It has been a whirlwind of a "new" job... a "new" face to face relationship... a "new" set of adventures... and a "new" set of opportunities.

There have been several opportunities where I have met new people that have asked questions of what I have done in the past.  As I start sharing with these "new" friends of what I have been doing the last couple of years... it seems surreal... like I am having an out of body experience... like I am a bystander telling someone else's story.  I struggle with the realization that this was my life in the past and getting others to understand this "new" normal.

Looking back to even a year ago... it seems like it was an eternity ago and a world away.  I was in China... teaching English with Disney... going on amazing weekend adventures to places like Sanya (the Hawaii of China) and Hong Kong.  Even though I lived the moments and was blessed to have these opportunities... it seems like a fairy tale now.

I chose many years ago to live intentionally and with a content heart in every situation.  This has been a new season in my life...yes there have been difficult moments... but it has been good.

I am blessed beyond belief that Christ came to make all things "new" ... we don't have to live in our pasts... whether good or bad... each day is a "new" gift from God!

How will you discover the things in your life that He has made new???

A glimpse of Hollywood

Slowly but surely... I am checking more things off of my bucket list with the assistance of an amazing adventure buddy!

Last weekend, despite both of us being sick, we had tickets to see Chicago and the 4th of July fireworks spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl.  My awesome man drove us the two hours through LA so that we could see some of the sights and an epic concert.

It was a memorable evening!





The invitation...


God does not require our assistance to carry out His plan.

Sometimes he asks or invites us to partner with him but he doesn't depend on us to fulfill HIS perfect plan.

He wants us to work alongside of him much like a father inviting their small child to work on a given project with them.

One of my earliest memories is when my brother was soon to be born.  I needed to vacate the crib, so dad came up with a plan to build a "big" girl bed.  He invited me to assist and being daddy's little girl, I wanted to assist.  I probably was very little actual help but the partnership grew our relationship as father/daughter and created great memories.  It grew my thought process that my dad would always be there when I need him.

He had included me on something that he could have done on his own.  He showed me through this invitation that I was useful... that I was treasured... that I may not be perfect but I could be helpful... that I was wanted... and through all of this I felt valued!

With every invitation ... we have the choice to join in or say no thank you.  What will be your response to HIS invitation???

"God's ways will frequently baffle us but God's will  is sufficiently clear to lead us in the meantime.  God's ways may not be clear to our childlike minds but our way is- at least enough of it to know what obedience requires."- Dale Ralph Davis


Friday, May 6, 2016

Still waiting...

WARNING:  Being real in sharing my heart.
This weekend is difficult on so many levels for me... and I know it is selfish... and I know it is self centered... and I know that it is just where I am at the moment.  
This is me being real and sharing my heart. Maybe there are others out there that share this struggle as well... or have shared it in the past... but are carrying the burden silently.  
Know that you are loved and there are others out there that understand. It is only by sharing that we can support one another and lift one another up.  
And for all of those that have been blessed with beautiful little ones... know that through tired eyes and weary bodies... you are blessed. Treasure your little ones!
Last year while in China I really didn't have to think about it...
... the year before while in Uganda 
( http://hynangel.blogspot.com/2014/05/and-they-call-me mamma.html )
... and before that... 
(http://hynangel.blogspot.com/2013/05/on-this-side-of-empty-womb.html )
... now that I am back stateside and we have been celebrating Mother's Day all week at preschool the awkwardness has come up again on several occasion...
Oh you know the well meaning comments... when telling mom's of my preschoolers "have a happy mother's day" and they turn around without thinking and say "you too"...
Or when one says "how many children do you have?" and there is that moment of silence while you try to figure out how to most politely answer...
Or... that moment when a mom of a preschooler is "too busy" to take an hour out of their day to come celebrate at a special mother's day tea... and all I want to do is take the hurting child under my wing and let them know that they are loved.
Now before you start making comments that I am being judgemental and don't understand how difficult it is to be a mom... hold on...
Mother's are amazing creatures that God created to care for and take care of their young. As I was often reminded growing up...children do not come with owners manuals... we are all sinners saved by grace... and I truly believe that there is an extra measure of grace given to mom's as they try to do their best in raising children with the tools they have been given.
With all of this said... there have been smiles covering a breaking heart...and I hold on to the promise that God will bind up the broken hearted. There have been tears behind closed doors... and I know that He collects my tears in a bottle because He cares for me. There have been many questions of "how many years do I have to wait before I can celebrate mother's day with a child of my own in my arms???"... and I hold to the fact that the God of the universe hears my prayers and He will give me the desires of my heart in His perfect timing.
Until that "perfect timing" moment... I will trust that He has my best interest in mind and I will be His hands and feet to the children He puts in my path to love on and care for... and give that extra hug or high five.... and lift up and encourage the little ones to follow Him!