Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Living Vicariously

I stalk Kip's fellow world racers like crazy.  I read through facebook everyday, looking for word from ANY of them;  from the parents.  I'm subscribed to all of their blogs on their world race pages  (You can be too), so if anyone makes a PEEP, I'm there.

I've made friends with World Race parents, people I've never met, but feel a deep bond and kinship.  I know as a parental community we are praying daily for our children, and all of their children, and something like that connects you on a level that goes beyond spiritual.

I love LOVE LOVE what I am reading this month in Swaziland.  Everyone is touched by the plight of the people there.  This is a BEAUTIFUL country whose existence is most likely going to be ravaged and gone by the year 2050 by the AIDS epidemic that plagues.

I read blog after blog of racers whose hearts are BROKEN by what they are living this month.  I like visual and I want to share some of their pictures with you, so you can see what I get to journey every day with these awesome kids...

Kat Davis and friends

Look at the little girls down the road staring at Chris.  "An American"

Nick loving on an abandoned baby with CP (breaks my heart)

The road and the countryside in Swazi

Kip coaxed this baby out of his bed for some lovin'

One team had giraffes cool is that???

Britni hugs on her new friend

Praying over a sick lady at Hope House

Come on little guy, want some Kip love?

This breaks my heart in all kinds of ways.  What a precious baby

Hitchhiking to their ministry- 30+ minutes from where they are staying.  

Ashley holding this precious abandoned baby with CP.  Why can't we find her a home?

These are their hospital beds.  I have no words. 

The kids used the words WRECKED a bunch this month.  How their emotions were Wrecked, spent, exhausted.  How can this happen?  How can God so "ignore" a country so full of beautiful people, and let this happen?   I love Britni's blog this morning....  "He didn't ignore them....He has sent ME, and I will not ignore God's calling".   She is going back to the states, get her nurse practictioner degree and head back over and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.   Nothing is stopping any of us, but Us.

 Instead of family vacations to Disney, why don't we take our kids on a mission trip and HELP others.  SEEK GOD, and share God, and be a LIGHT?   We don't need to spend $5,000 on vacations when we can go to these people and make a difference.

My life is forever changed because of my witness of this race.  I hope in some small part, yours is too.

Blogs you should follow......   Of course Kip's.      Kat Davis is an AMAZING visual writer..... I always cry when I read hers.   Just beautiful

Britni Bersin is from Tulsa, and her writings are so joyful....  Chris Britton is on Kip's team and he got a wordpress to blog on, pictures were easier on there....  He is an excellent writer as well....  I love his blogs, because I know what Kip is up to when I read his stuff...she is with them....
With his precious wife, DaDa

At last but certainly not least is Tim E.  He cracks me up.  and makes me cry.  I love to read his stuff because he is so full of light and heart..... It does my body good... 

That is just the short list of all the blogs I read.  Kat Law, Dusty Dills, Nick Hayden, Amanda Britton, Matt Bell, Jessica Fishbach.... all are amazing journeys.     

Let your hearts be broken by what you read.   I know mine is.  


I've been noticing that I'm just "off".  (now I hear all of you saying, JUST NOTICING?) but seriously, just not feeling myself.   And it hit me like a ton of bricks.....  YOU AREN'T READING YOUR BIBLE everyday.

I had class.  I had work.  I had Criminal Minds.  So, the bible got backburner'd.  I just read the whole thing, right?   I just fed on the word for a solid year, right?  I can't lose that closeness to God by slacking for a few weeks, Right?




I've been so edgy.  So quick to anger.  So worried about finances.  Things, just weeks ago, didn't even bother me, because God & I were in a daily lovefest.  

It's amazing to me how STUFF can reach in and grab your peace, when you just slack for a minute.  If I was in a relationship with a human being of the male caliber and I went three weeks without calling him or talking to him, or texting him...he would be PEACE OUT.  (I don't know, I have such a brilliant personality, LOL) BUT, the wonderful thing I know to be true is, GOD never NEVER leaves me.  He is EVER PRESENT.  Patiently waiting for me to pull my head out, and get back to serving and loving and living for Him.

Life is full of distractions.  But ALL it takes to give you the perfect peace is to  SEEK Him.  Ask Him in, He loves your company.  And I promise with all that I am, from what I have learned, if He is with you, Your days hold more joy.

I want to be slow to anger, quick to love, all forgiving.  And with a constant contact with God, through His word and my time with Him..... it's so much easier.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On Laynie and Loss

Laynie's birthday was January 16.  Hard to believe we got to share 2 wonderful birthdays with our little tiny gift.  TWO birthdays.

I was sharing with someone today, about her, and I got to reflect on how her life was such a gift.  A spiritual walk.  A healing.  A renewed passion for God.  A learning that went beyond any understanding any of us had for "God".

And I believe, with all my heart, that He sent her to us, and allowed us to keep her until I understood that I was supposed to share her life with all of you.  And let you in on how present God is, and how unexpectedly He can reveal Himself.

There is so much pain in this world.  So much loss.  So much loneliness. There are so many things that happen that we, as mortals, cannot understand.  How children die so young of cancer.  How precious teenagers die in automobile wrecks.  How young adults can get buried into drugs and lose their lives in an instant.  How people fall into affairs and wreck so many lives.  How you can lose a job and security and not know where your next paycheck is coming from. How friends die of aneurysms, and diabetes, far too young to be gone from this earth.  And how parents get old and die of Alzheimers, of Parkinsons, of cancer.  Or their bodies just get tired and they are gone.  So. Much. Pain.

I have no idea how people get through life without the comfort of knowing that God is there.  And He never ever EVER leaves us.  Not for one second.  Even if we are forgetful or inconsiderate of Him, He is There.  Ever Present.  The Alpha and Omega.  Beginning to End.

And that gives me peace like nothing else.  And before Laynie, I didn't have that.

Now I do.

So when I start to miss (and believe me, I do my little sweet smidge, I smile up to God, and say...

God, you are Good.  All the Time.

Happy Birthday in heaven, my sweet little layniebug.  Your lolly will Never Ever stop sharing your story....

Kip and Mozambique

Nothing like your computer kaputing right after you have been on a blogging moratorium for school.  I was going to blog all weekend to catch up, and I will be digger dog danged, if my power source in my computer didn't go kaput.  It's all fixed now, and I have about 23 blogs I need to write, so I will get 2-3 out of the way this evening. My brain is so full, it's 'sploding.    SOOOOO....

Let's talk about Kip.   One of my MOST favorite subjects.

I finally got to talk to her on the phone yesterday.  It had been almost 3 weeks.  That's a long time for me to go without communication.  I had seen a few "Likes" on facebook and a couple of pics, but I hadn't heard her voice, so to say I was overjoyed to hear from her is a huge understatement.

She is in Swaziland this month.  On a map you can find it between Africa and Mozambique.  From what I hear from the racers, it's a beautiful place, but it is speculated that the country's population will all be dead of AIDS by 2050.  That's freaky.

We will talk more about Swaziland later, right now I want to tell you about her month in Mozambique.  To say it was life-altering for her, is an understatement as much as me being overjoyed.  Everything changed for her there.   And it is really funny, (not ha-ha funny, but ironically funny) because other than Kip's team, everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) was ready to get the heck out of Dodge in Mozambique.  Dirty, no water, witchcraft, relentless heat..  too much for our racers.

Except for that little team at Kedesh-  They had a magnificent month.  Kip loved it so much, I do believe that once she gets her internship done in architecture here in the states, she will be going back, probably for good. That's a powerful message.  That was God working in her showing her some magnificent things.  I just hope she packs her mama up and takes her with her.  I'm an excellent swamper.  (I can do anything).

On "Meet the Team" I talked about what everyone did at Kedesh, but I want to share Kip's video that she made for the boys on here.  What resonates from Team 2:20, is the fact that even though the conditions weren't ideal, the love and respect and communication and expectations were so amazing, that everyday was a blessing there.  Every Single Day.   I got that from every team member on 2:20.  Very different from the other teams in their ministries.  So while, the whole squad was rejoicing moving from Mozambique to Swaziland, Team 2:20 had several small meltdowns leaving their beloved Boys.  What a testimony of love.  What a pleasure for me to bear witness to what I saw from this team.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

School time. Sshmool Time.

I have about 12 blogs I want to write.  I want to tell you about Kip's fun in Mozambique.  I want to write about the movie "Courageous".   I want to tell you about my  Aunt Nancy.    I want to talk about the blood drive we are having tomorrow for Laynie's 4th birthday.   I want to talk about Hallie and her basketball finesse.  I want to talk about how filled my house is with kid's clothes, and how my garage is filled with so much stuff, my quiver runneth over.

But I can't.

Because I am taking a two week intercession in college and it is blowing all my time.

It's fun and hard and stupid.  Introduction to Theatre.  All I needed to get my associates degree.  1 (one) lousy class.

So next Tuesday it will be over.   Before then I am going to watch a video and write a paper,  I am going to read 3 more chapters in my text and take a test.  I am going to write a 3-5 page play.  (oh boy)   I am going to cast a play (An Ideal Husband) with 5 characters.  And I am going to write a paper on how clothes make the man.  

Piece of cake.

So have some cake, and I will see you great friends in one week.  Because there are stories to be shared.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Meet Kipster's Team

I'm going to be writing about her travels and it occurred to me that I can't talk about her teammates and you even know who they are.  She's been with them 127 days now.  4 months. Whoa.

I feel like they are my family too, because I stalk them daily on Facebook.  But I feel ok in this, because as I stalk them, I see all the other parents stalking them too.  Dan Rossman, Priscilla Eisaman, Heidi Bents, just to name a few.   So I feel ok in stalking.  We all are.  Sitting 10,000 miles away from our kids, desperately looking for news.  We are a community of support for our racers.  It's an amazing feeling, being bonded to people I've never met, yet love already like family.   Weird, and wonderful.

Let me introduce you.

First, Kip is traveling with about 50 racers.  (there were more, but some haven't met the fundraising requirements and have had to go home, Thankfully, Thanks to you!, Kip is on her way to quickly becoming fully funded, Praise The Lord)   The Squad is called the "Z" squad.
This looks like an ad for "Survivor".  I love this picture.  It was taken last month at the end of their month in South Africa.  They are all tan, and happy.  They had a good month there.  Now, this is the whole "Squad".

Now Z squad is made up of several teams of 6-7, and when they reach a country the teams disperse and go to different ministries in about a 3 hour radius.  Some teams get to work with another team, some teams are way out in the boonies by themselves, and some teams work independently.  It's really an amazing ministry

Kip's team ...........  Team 2 20

Meet Kevin............. Team Leader.

I like Kevin. He's growing his hair out, and I'm never sure what to expect when I see pictures of him.  Kip said he ventured off to have someone "corn row" his hair into braids, and no one in Africa really knows what he was saying.  He came back  with a bunch of twisty braids, and a multi color rainbow of rubber bands interspersed in the nonsense, and someone said, "Oh, great, our team leader is a 12 year old girl."  I wish I could have seen that one.  

Kevin took on a HUGE project in Mozambique... he was determined to get a well dug from their constant water supply (which is a bog, don't ask me to explain, I don't know), to get to the boys' gardens.  (more on this later)  Kip said he wore a shirt 3% of the month.  He worked like crazy to get it accomplished and he DID it!
Digging and digging, and hey, digging some more. 

It was a huge job and he got 'er done.  Great job, Kevin.  Now everyone pray for rain to fill that well, so that their gardens can keep growing! (more on that later)

Next, we have the married couple of the team, or "Lord & Lady Britton", if you will.....

Meet Chris..........
Methinks he needs a taller shovel.
Let me show you how to do math.
Chris constantly mentored the boys in Mozam this month.  Every picture Kip has of him, he is surrounded by young men, giving his time, attention, and wisdom.  It was an amazing thing to witness.

But, behind every great man, is an even greater woman...and here she is...  Amanda....
She and Kip are making no-bake cookies, which seems to be a trend for this team.
Dada (no, I'm not speaking baby, even though we all know I can....that is her nickname) poured into every ministry in Kadesh.  She was hands on EVERYWHERE.
Building a clay stove.
Helping the boys build Kip's picnic table 
Baking bread

Hanging with Chris playing games with the boys
Got together a team to clean the bog (still, don't ask me)
straddled the fence that the boys all love to lounge on, just to hang out and be with them.
helped distribute foods to the widows 
I am a little in love with Chris and Amanda.  They are such dedicated, sweet, God-loving, no-nonsense hardworking couple, what can't you love about them?  Apparently, they didn't get a lot of "We" time at camp, so on the last night, the team and the boys, made a romantic meal for them, and serenaded them with songs from their wedding, then had a game of "Questions" for them.... they are well loved in 2 20.

well loved by me, too, because they like my girl so much.  

Next we have Charlene ...

With students in China...
No bake cookies....AGAIN...
I'm so proud of her.  She has some medical issues that really became a major concern right away.  She had the team pray over her, and did some intense praying of her own, and I was so afraid she was going to have to go home.  Prayers were answered and this loving sister of Christ has powered through and is still hanging in there.  She has to take it easy, so you won't see her digging ditches or building tables, but she was amazing with this thing called Kapak (I think) its a seed pod with cotton filling inside, and you take the tiny seeds 20-30 in each pod, and separate them to make oil.  She was a machine in the Kapak production.  What a blessing.  

This month the team lost a member (Britni, a fellow Okie)  boohoo, cause I LOVE me some Britni!  

One of the last pics of Team Solid
BUT Gained Two New members....
Ashley....(who I don't know a great deal about, because I have been stalking all the others so intensely), but she looks like a dandy who fit right in..........
helping Kip with her picnic table...
lathering Charlene up with SPF1million
bought the boys all the fixins for s'mores..
and showed them how it's done...
and got to see the competitive side of my daughter.  (wowser)
I look forward to learning more about her after we become facebook friends and I get on her world race blog.  I don't play when I'm stalking.  I am mash the gas to the floor, let's find out all about you.  This may be a huge reason why I am still single.   Ok, I digress.

Now do you notice how EVERYONE in all the pictures were just working and working and working and working?   Let me introduce you to the last member of the team, and I'm just going to show a few pictures so you can get a feel for his month in Kedesh.  
 Meet Tim.......
Oh, we are supposed to put it in the ground??? not roll it??
Yeah, let's go "Help" Dada clean the bog. 
 (this really is one of my favorite pics of the month)
Guys, I'll put the filling in the "Oreo" dance sandwich...
When I get my energy back, we'll play some baseball.
Hey, it was just hanging there....calling our names

I'll help you with the bread.

This guy injected some serious humor into this team.  What I have learned about him this month is he is a bleed blue, ridiculous over the top, Chicago Cubs fan.  Fan isn't a strong enough word.  Fantasmic fantagellic, fantabuloso Fantasticilistic is more the word. (If they really WERE words).  He LOVES baseball.  So guess what he did with those boys.   Yep.... he was in Sandlot heaven.  (and so. were. the. boys.)

That was 2...boy-o.
I'm just playing about Tim.  I know he'll appreciate the fact that I poked fun at him, or at least I hope he will.  :)  He poured his heart into these boys, and I know they will be changed for the better.  And if I were to be able to talk to Tim, I'm just betting that he'll be changed, too.  What a fantastic team.

So, now you know Kip's core family for the race.  When I speak of them in blogs going forward you will know who I am talking about.  I will blog about a day in Kadesh with Team 2 20 soon, because it was an amazing, life changing adventure for these kids.  And I want it to be for you, too... because I know it certainly was for me.  

Here is the video I send to them with all the love a mama can send....... RACE ON, PRECIOUS ONES, RACE ON!