Monday, May 17, 2010

BarlowGirl - Here's My Life [HQ]

Here's My Life by Barlow Girl

Once again I said my goodbyes
To those who I love most
My heart feels that familiar pain
As I long for home
'Cause this road is hard
When I feel so far

God I'm crying out tonight
'Cause I've given You my life
But I'm tired and I'm missing what's behind
So once more here's my life

On the day that You called my name
All that I knew changed
I found when I said yes that I'd never be the same
Though the call is hard You are worth it all

God I'm crying out tonight
'Cause I've given You my life
But I'm tired and I'm missing what's behind
So once more

Even when the tears are falling
When I find I fear the calling
You remind me
Words You've spoken over my life
Promises I've yet to see
You comfort me

God I'm crying out tonight
'Cause I've given You my life
But I'm tired and I'm missing what's behind
So once more, here's my life

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What is yours???,,,, Um...nothing?

I have been debating whether to post this or not, but have decided to do so, on the account that there might be others struggling with the same things I am, others that might be contemplating a life in missions, this is my life. I'm not posting this to get people to feel sorry for me or for attention. This post is simply me,.. being very vulnerable, sharing what God is doing in my life.

This is my life here... let me introduce you to some of my barkada (Tagalog for gang or group of friends you hang out with):
This is me and Christian, Christian plays the drums at church, but he can also play guitar and sing.

This is Jayson, Jayson plays the guitar in morning worship at church, but he can also play the bass and is learning the drums too, oh yea.. he can sing also.

This is Dennis, he is the best dancer I think I have ever seen. He's very good at organizing special numbers for the youth group to do in front of church.

This is me, with Kristine and Dennis. Kristine sings.

This is Brent and a little bit of Dennis. Brent plays bass and sings in the morning worship.

These are only a few friends of mine from church, there are many more, and many more talents to go along with them. I'm so grateful the Lord brought me to this church and these great friends. They are super nice and its been great getting to know them... however in the process of getting to know each other, there is one question that seems to pop up alot, "What is your talent?" ... Notice that all of them have 'things' that they are good at, they all have talents. My reply to this question, "Um...I don't really have any talents.." And believe you me, Satan knows how to jump on an answer like that. Another question, one that generally follows the first, is "Well, what are your hobbies? What do you do?" ... I'm stunned again. Because I stop and think, and ... hmmm... what do I do for fun? Surely I did something back home... I went to work, and I went to school and I hung out with friends... but did I ever do anything. I'm coming to the realization and am finally answering, "I don't ... really.. have any hobbies." At home, I liked to cook, but it wasn't a talent. Hmm... the only thing I do is .. I play with kids, I take care of babies, that's my lone and simple talent and hobby rolled into one... and some, probably many, would argue,... that't not exactly a talent or a hobby, its kinda my job...

So, this, my lack of talents and hobbies, has been on my mind alot lately, and as I mentioned before, Satan definitely knows how to attack a girl on her weak spots, and self-confidence is definitely my weakness. Add in the new fact that I lack hobbies and talents and am surrounded by talented people... and add the devil in there.. it gets rough. But bring in God and his faithful promises and you get the verse that I came across in my quiet time. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Praise the LORD that in my utter weakness, He is strong. Even though I am nothing, He loves me and shines through me. Even though I have no talents, He can do anything and He can use me to do anything.

I have nothing to boast of but Jesus.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sometimes I just miss...

If you've read much of my blog at all, you know that I love the LORD, I love the Philippines, I love the children I work with, I Love my life here in the Philippines. That, I hope is obvious to anyone who visits my blog. This, and probably the next post, is not a complain post. This is just reality. There are people out there, who may be reading my blog, who may be considering life in missions. GO FOR IT! But at the same time, know.. its not easy, its not warm and fuzzy all the time, there are many struggles and many personal battles along the way.

As much as I LOVE THIS LIFE that GOD HAS CALLED ME TO... there are things that I miss...

I miss road trips and being TOTALLY SILLY with my best friends, driving with the music blaring and the windows down on a nice summer evening!!
I miss cooking dinner for my family, which is what I had done when this picture was taken. I had cooked dinner for my family and both sets of grandparents.

I miss my Momma Dates and My Daddy-Daughter Dates (usually to a LOUISVILLE FOOTBALL game). These pictures are me and Momma's pedicure date and me and Daddio at a football game!

I miss the family gatherings.. you know the kind.. when there always has to be a dozen group pictures. (I'm thankful for the group pictures now)

I miss just 'hanging out' with the 2 best 'best friends' a girl could ask for.

I miss getting super dressed up and going to dinner (when the big things were... how am I going to do my hair???)

I miss being silly with my Momma! (Mother's Day 2009)

I miss the memories I made.

I miss the 'normal' food and dinner talks that I was used to.

I miss being able to 'tell' (as in speak) my Momma everything, whether late at night or in the wee morning hours when I would get in from UPS. (Easter 2009)

I miss hanging on my Daddy's arm.

I miss joking around with MY Bub. (I'm realizing how special the bond we have is and how no one else can have that relationship with him that I have. He is MY Bub (brother) and no one else's... yes I might be getting a tad possessive)

I miss the fun family things.

I miss Moziek! (And Mattie and LouLou of course!)

One of the things I miss the most...


Sometimes I just miss it...
But I wouldn't trade. I couldn't trade.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just a little squatter community...

I had been trying for 3 days to get someone to drive me to Malabon, finally on the third day I found a kasama who got directions and we took public... a jeepnee, a bus, and another jeepnee.. and we were finally there. For nearly a week, since the Friday before, I could not get this particular girl out of my mind. I had seen her Friday, she had an infection on her feet, her toes were swollen, parts of her feet were raw... it was bad. I didn't have medicine with me to give her that day, so I planned to bring some back out to her in the next week. She had been on my mind everyday since then, so I knew God was telling me to get the medicine to her. As soon as we got to Malabon, we found Ate Lillybeth, our good friend who lives there and knows the community and headed to find our girl. To my surprise, her feet looked much better than the last time I had seen her. The need for medicine was still there, but her feet were drastically better. Hmmm... that's odd. Lord, I knew You put her on my heart for a reason. I thought for sure You were telling me to hurry back to Malabon. But Lord... she's doing much better, her feet aren't in any need of any emergency interference now... Well Lord, hmm.., I guess I heard wrong... Sorry for not getting that one right... Hmm..and I was soo sure...Huh... went my puzzled thoughts.

Well.. that was the main reason for the trip and it was done and we had only been here for about 5 minutes. Well, since we were here, I wanted to run and check on a couple sick children I knew of and see how they were doing. However, on the way, a woman came up to us and wanted me to see her daughter, ... ok sure. We went in and I saw a precious 2 year-old hydrocephalic little girl, whose name escapes me now. Again, as happens many times here, memories of my little girl flood my mind. I talk to the mom and the little girl and watch the little girl's face light up as she giggles. She still has sight and hearing. Her mother holds her lovingly. My heart is heavy for her, knowing the what lies ahead for both the daughter, but also personally knowing the long and also painful road the mother will have to travel before long. I smile and tell them that we will be back in Malabon saturday and we head on to check the other children.

We cross the main street and start back the dark wet alley way to little Albert's family's house... or living area, its not much of a home. Little Albert has a gaping raw wound on his chest... and no explanation of how it got there. It just came up the family says. I look and check the wound and see that it looks like infection are setting in. I sigh and tell them I don't have any answers right now, but I will tell Ate C and that we will be back on Saturday and Ate will see him then.

We head back out towards the main street and cross back over to the front court of Malabon, our area for our saturday programs, and head for the back of Malabon. We are going to check on Almay, one of the regulars for our Saturday morning programs, who we found out Friday suddenly has a knot that has come up on her shoulder. They were going to take her to a clinic they knew of over the weekend, and I was eager to see what they found out. Nothing. All they knew was that they had been given some meds, they showed me the paper with the meds written on it...the handwriting wasn't legible to make out but only 2 or 3 letters of each name...ok, well I can't do anything.. but... Saturday.

Ok.. so we've been in Malabon for a while now, have seen all the patients I know of... time to go home Ryan? (Ryan was my kasama, or companion, for the day). Ok, so we head back to the front of Malabon, walking through the sinking garbage and mud that makes up the ground. We get through the last of the sinking part, when Ate Lillybeth stops and asks if I want to wash my feet off. (wearing tsinelas, or flip-flops, and walking in sinking garbage ground, makes for muddy feet) Sure.. why not? Thanks is my reply, but I'm very cautious in this, as I DO NOT want to appear to be a better-than-you clean-freak white girl, I'm not going to run screaming from what you live in on a daily basis., especially since I want to be seen as more of a friend in the community rather than a I half-heartedy wash the visible tops of my feet, trying to be quick...well that was not good enough for Ate Lillybeth. She gets the water and while pouring it over my feet, she starts washing my feet and gives me a gentle motherly scolding with her eyes. I smile in awe and am humbled to the core. This is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. My heart is melting away as the dirt runs... Salamat Po (Thank you with respect in Tagalog (the language here)) is all my mouth can muster.

We then get back to the front court, when a familiar face grabs me and gives me a hug and a kiss on my cheek. The woman is the grandmother of Emerlyn, the 4 year-old hydrocephalic that is now at Gentle Hands, while her mother is looking for work to provide for the family. I don't know her name, but that doesn't matter, I will call her Lola (grandmother in Tagalog). She asks me about Emerlyn and tells me that Emerlyn's mom is finding work. She reminises about her other daughter who recently died, the daughter that was key in working and helping take care of Emerlyn. Then her eyes brighten as she speaks in Tagalog to Ryan, and asks us to come to her house for merienda ('snack' in Tagalog). Ryan looks at me and asks me. I want to be accepted into this community, I want to be a friend, I don't want to be a stand-offish visitor.. without hesitation I say Yes. Ryan looks at me, I see the uncertainty in his eyes. He asks me if I'm sure and I know he wants me to change my mind. He's nervous. But I know I need to do this, something in me tells me, This is a big opportunity, I look at him and reassure him, Yes. With a sigh from Ryan, we head back to her house.. back through the sinking ground we just came from. As we walk, my mind starts to wonder.. What will merienda be I wonder??? hmm... what if its something I've never tried before? What if its something I can't do...I will have to eat it... Maybe this wasn't such a great idea...hmm. We get to the house, I slip of my tsinelas and go inside the little home, half the sala (living room) has been made into a little store. Lola goes over and comes back with 2 RC soda bottles, one for me and one for Ryan, and brings a plate of rolls. WOW, SWEET MERIENDA!!! ..sigh... yes! go my thoughts of relief at the delicious and safe merienda. We talk and a couple other ladies come by and they talk amongst themselves with Lola, I sit, nibble on my merienda and listen, catching bits and pieces of their Tagalog.

Ryan informs me of a new topic in their discussions, a new man in Malabon who has TB. They have brought the medicine he is on. I look at it, and recognize the meds. They tell me a little about him. Ok, .. Saturday and Ate C will see him.

We head out to the side, going out a different way, about to head home...we are walking down a side street back to the main road, when a guy stops us and wants us to see his daughter. Um, ok sure. We go and we meet a sad 7 year-old little girl who is precious, there is some obvious brain damage, from what.. who knows. We are also introduced to her sister, who appears to be fine, and her brother, who has down syndrome, he is absolutely precious. The little boy comes to the door and without hesitation sticks his hand out to shake mine, I gladly accept and am touched my his gentle sweet personality. They tell me, using Ryan as a translator her symptoms and I think I know what is wrong, but again...I have no medicine with me, wait till Saturday Ate will be here.

We've been in Malabon for several hours now, and now its finally time to head home. This is Malabon, and I have always been fond of Malabon, but after today, I LOVE Malabon. I love this community and can't wait to just come and hang out again! We start on the trip back (which due to several obstacles and mishaps, takes us over 3 hours)... when suddenly I remember and think Hmm..well Lord, maybe I heard You correctly after all...because now I know.. I was definitely supposed to come. Oh Lord, Thank You.

~ To God Be the Glory!