23 November 2009

On the Other Side

Thank you so much for your prayers about my trip yesterday. I arrived safely after a fairly uneventful trip. Each flight was 30-45 minutes late leaving, but it had little impact on the overall trip. The one time my stomach hurt for awhile was short lived and I was able to rest in the airport while it passed. The worst part of the day was not having my luggage arrive in Philly when I did, but it hasn't been a big deal. Thankfully I found some clothes I had stashed in my parents attic so I had something to wear to church today. It was great to finally meet the great people in my parents church and take part in the largest Thanksgiving feast I've probably ever seen. So far I haven't been phased by jet lag and it has surprised me! We'll see how it continues to go. Hopefully my luggage will show up by tomorrow! Later.

P.S. Yafi says "Hi."

20 November 2009

Soon Yafi!!

Mark and I have a fun saying at our house: "Soon Yafi." We say it more frequently the closer we get to returning to my parents (and subsequently their dog, Yafo, whom I affectionately call Yafi). It's to be said both in excitement and by way of encouragement. For instance, if one of us has had a rough day the other will say "Soon Yafi" to encourage the other one to press on a little bit more. You know, just that little something happy to look forward to can sometimes keep you going in the darkest of days.

But it can also be said in a sheer state of glee, such as my title post today - SOON YAFI! Finally, I will get to see him (and mom  and dad, of course!) tomorrow night! Maybe you've got to meet the little guy to fully comprehend his sweetness. I am not a dog-lover, nor have I ever been, but as I've said on here before, Yafi is the coolest dog ever. He loves people and is always super excited to see us. How can I not love him? To be sure there will be photos of His Royal Cuteness taken and posted so stay tuned and see if you don't also fall in love with him as well.

As I fly to Nashville tomorrow (via London and Philly), just wanted to post a few requests and ask you to join us in praying:

-Obviously for me as I fly. Stamina and easy connections/flights, etc. It's always a bit extra tough for me to travel for so many hours and have to bring 3 meals and umpteen number of snacks with me. I am always a bit apprehensive at flight delays and running out of food. Not to mention my stomach doesn't do well with little sleep. It is already grumpy at me for the 2-3 hours less it has gotten the past two nights. (To be fair, last night wasn't all my fault. Some girls decided it would be a great idea to stand outside our flat in the road and scream at one another from about 2:15am-3:00am. Despite having the window closed, fan on, ear plugs in and pillow over my head I could still ocassionally hear a screech from the yelling. I mean, come on!) Tonight I could really do with some solid sleep even though I'll be up at 4:30am. Prayers to that end will be appreciated!

-Some of you won't know that 3 weeks ago I found out I have low thyroid function contributing to much tiredness at time, as well as other things. I've been having a hard time with the pill I'm on and have not been able to consistently take this yet. Pray that while away I can work on adjusting my body to this medicine and that there will be alternative medicines available if I need them. (One thing that seems to be working against me is the lactose and corn starch used as binders in this med - both of which I'm allergic/sensitive to.)

-A good last few days for Mark at his conferences. He flies back to Nashville on Monday but in the meantime, pray he makes some good connections as he looks for a future job and that in general his time would be encouraging and beneficial.

-Rest and relaxation for both of us! We've had a pretty crazy few months with both of us doing more than usual. Pray that our time with family and each other would be refreshing.

Thanks so much for your prayers. We appreciate having friends like you.

See you on the other side! SOON YAFI!!

18 November 2009

Biding my Time

 Many of you know that Mark left last Friday to head back to the US. He was with my parents over the weekend getting over jetlag, repacking, buying a few essentials, etc. He flew to New Orleans yesterday where he's attending one conference the remainder of this week and another over the weekend. Meanwhile, I've been biding my time at home until I jetset on Saturday morning! It's nearly here and I can't believe it. At this point I still have a lot to do and keep reminding myself I only have 2 days a few hours to complete them all - BUT, I think it can be done!

Since Mark left on Friday I have noticed a few things....

--How does one less person in the house equate to 2/3rds less dishes? (I'm going to blame it on the coffee addiction Mark doesn't have.)

--A couple nights somewhere between about 8-9pm I've found I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. It seems like time for bed since the sun has set 4-5 hours ago, but even that's a little early for me to hit the sack. (I think that must be the time Mark and I usually watch a show together.)

--My toothbrush is lonely. Everytime I look at the glass cup that holds our toothbrushes it takes me by surprise. My toothbrush looks so alone sitting there by itself.

--Despite enjoying a clean house staying clean this week, it's a good reminder that I'd rather a dirty, messy house filled with my husband too.

I've missed you, Mark, and am counting the days till I see you again too!

10 November 2009

Celebrate the Little Things!

When you live in a world of strict diets, it is definitely the little things that keep you going. Here in my local grocery store I have found various such food items that deserve their own blog post. Take, for instance, the delectible treat on the left. Rice cake with chocolate on top. You thought rice cakes were bland, boring and downright disgusting? Well, maybe. But certainly not with chocolate on top! And it isn't just any chocolate -- it's (or seems to be) dairy and soy free. Not easy done in the world of chocolate. Thank you, Kallo, for these sweet treats. (And also for the rice milk you make which is the only one not contaminated with other allergens. As well as your regular rice cakes. They really are way better than most folks think!)

The next thank you goes to Lyme Regis for their amazing fruit bars, "fruitus." They come in 4 flavors, but I think my fav is the blueberry-pomagranate one. The really surprising thing is that I can usually find them for a reasonable price. This is truly a rarity in the world of pre-packaged, non-allergenic foods. My life has been transformed (well, okay, maybe a slight exaggeration....sorry Bible study ladies!) since finding this food-on-the-go. Since I can rarely find pre-packaged foods that are "safe" and always need food, you can see why this has been a great find.

I almost feel normal.

Until Mark reminds me that I just got really excited about chocolate rice cakes.

05 November 2009

The Hazards of Hymns

Our church sings a lot of hymns. Many of them I had not heard before moving here, but have grown to love some of them, especially the more modern, newer ones by writers like Stuart Townend. However, we do sing some more traditional ones like "Be Thou My Vision, " which I have always loved.

Since coming here, however, I have realized that there is a big hazard with singing hymns. Apparently Scottish hymns are at times different than American hymns. As I was reminded on Sunday the words can change without any warning.

I was singing away "Be Thou My Vision" and we were on verse 2: "Be Thou my wisdon, be Thou my true word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father and I thy true heir - wait - what? I hear an American friend next to me belt out SON (how it's usually sung in America) while I grin and chuckle. Thank goodness I was looking at the words and didn't make that mistake. But you know what the Bible says, "Pride comes before the fall."

Verse 3 was totally unrecognizable:
"Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight; be Thou my armour and be Thou my might; Thou my soul's shelter and Thou my high tower; raise Thou me heav'nward, O Power of my power."

So by verse 4 I was excited we were back to something I knew. You know, didn't need the words for -- could actually worship and sing from the heart. Now I'm the one belting it out, "Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise...." While everyone else sings: "Riches I heed not, nor all the world's praise." That'll stop the flow of worship real fast, and humble you too!

The moral of the story is, when singing in church here, it is best to ALWAYS look at the screen or songsheet. I guess two years of learning this hasn't been enough. Maybe I just keep hoping one day they'll use the words I know.

P.S. At the bottom of the songsheet it is written that the words we were singing are from a 1993 edition of the song, so I think it is one that has been "updated." That would make the "heir" part more politically correct and gender neutral. So for this particular song that must be the "problem."